Relationship between Air Pollution and Covid

We, the World have witnessed an outbreak of Covid epidemic and also saw the World coming to a standstill. In this article we shall see the impact of Covid-19 on air pollution. In order to learn about this, we will look into link between Covid-19 and air pollution, rise and outcome of Covid 19. We shall look into the facts whether exposure to air pollution paved way for the increases in Covid 19 and also air pollution during Covid 19 outbreak.

Coronavirus is a transmittable disease caused by a virus named SARS-CoV-2. It gets transmitted from person to person very rapidly. People who are infected with this virus shows serious illness to no symptoms at all. It mainly depends on the health of the person.

Relationship between Air Pollution and Covid

Covid 19 had paved way for lockdown scenario in the whole World, which was very much unfamiliar to our generation as well as our old generations. This made us understand that how dangerous and fast spreading was the virus spread. We all were stuck inside our houses for a long time. Our life was switched from offline to online. All these were not familiar for us before the outbreak of this disease.

Rise of Covid 19

Covid 19 was a pneumonia epidemic which was first reported in Wuhan, China in the late 2019. This epidemic was caused by a virus named SARS-CoV-2, that causes severe respiratory syndrome. By February 2020, when it started spreading around the World, the WHO (World Health Organisation) named it as coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID 19. This was the onset of Covid 19 and it continues its journey, even though many mutations have been witnessed around the World. In the due course, vaccines were found which couldn’t eradicate the virus but it was advocated that the vaccines have reduced the number of death and risk in patients.

The covid 19 symptoms are different from one individual to another. It was at times asymptomatic for few while it was severe on few leading to death and was harsh with high temperature, body pain, respiratory issues etc. It left severe irreparable damage on lungs for many. The category of senior citizens and those who already have a compromised health were considered to be as at high risk.

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What is Air Pollution

Air pollution was dealt very clearly in the topic what is air pollution. For the sake of understanding the link between Covid 19 and Air pollution we are just explaining about air pollution basics.

Air pollution is the contamination of air by different toxic substances that are harmful to the human health, animals, plants and all living organisms. The major air pollutants are Carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxide etc. The causes and consequences are dealt in clearly as another essay. Please refer.

Link between Covid 19 and air pollution

There are many studies being carried out regarding the outbreak of Covid 19, its spread and its genetic mutations. We have seen that it spreads rapidly than what we can imagine. Many studies have proved that air pollution have attributed to the spread of corona virus as air pollution. As air pollutants inhalation results in low immunity, it helps the easy way in for the virus to enter and reproduce enormously. Even though they replicate only inside a living organism, it dies exist in the environment along with the pollutants. The pollutants enables the viruses  to persist in the environment and helps it to transmit.

The main symptom or main outcome of Corona virus is that it affects the respiratory system and lungs. The air pollution mainly affects the respiratory tracts, throat and lungs. This is the main link or relation we find between them. Both are leaving irreparable damages to the pulmonary functions.

Outcomes of covid-19

The first and foremost outcome of Covid 19 was that it brought in social distancing. The term social-distancing was unaware to the society till 2020 but this was the only preventive measure to escape from Corona virus. As this did not have any curable medicine, prevention was the only way we can get rid of this. Thus, all the government authorities had called in for social distancing among people.

Secondly, we viewed lock down of countries and states, which restricted the movement of people and there by World coming to a standstill. The traffic of vehicles, air travel etc were stopped as soon as lock down was imposed. As a result, there was a steady decline in the air pollution and increase in the quality of air. Since the people remained at home, all factories and industries were not functioning. It also contributed to the lessening of air pollution. People were at home mostly, entertaining themselves with family members, which improved the bonding between them. This was also an outcome of Covid 19. Hence it has positive aspects also.

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The next outcome to discuss is that, the World moved to online from offline. As lockdown was imposed, the whole of the IT industry shifted to work from home, from work at office. This was the beginning of a new era of online working.  Not only the IT sector, the shopping was also shifted from offline to online as there was no shops being opened. The grocery shopping also shifted to online services and door delivery were initiated at a very great extent.

This online revolution showed us the activism of social media suddenly as the working space of all individuals changed to the internet. Social media marketing was also on a hype when the number of people using social media increased rapidly. The online cooking channels, entertainment channels, informative channels, online workout classes were all the outcome of the Covid era.

Economical crisis was the other outcome of this. When all services and sale were stopped, it hit the economic sector of the World very badly. The worst outcome is that it affected the health of humans globally. The health of the ones who are affected by Corona virus have been affected so badly that they suffer from different health issues such as dementia, shortness of breath, depression and other mental illness, organs impairment, fatigue etc.

We are concerned about the outcome of covid on air pollution rather than any other outcomes. Since the sub heading was outcome of Covid 19, we were mentioning all of them.

Air pollution during Covid 19 outbreak

Even though there are several outcomes for Covid 19, we are basically concerned about the impact on air pollution only as we are dealing with an essay of Covid and air pollution. We have learned that Covid 19 got enhanced due to air pollution and lockdown imposed due to Covid has brought down the air pollution rate.

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We saw that air pollution extraordinarily fallen down at a high rate at the time of lockdown due to:

  • Vehicle traffic were almost ceased
  • Industries and factories ceased working

All cities of the US showed a steady fall in the pollution rate and the air quality were improved at a very high pace. Remarkable air quality was reported as per the study conducted by the Atmospheric Environment (

According to this study, Washington D.C ranked first in the fall of pollution rate. It was followed by other cities.

Region PM2.5Change
Washington DC −21.1
New York −20.7
Boston −18.5
Detroit −13.53
Chicago −8.05
Seattle −7.73
Dallas −6.71
Philadelphia −4.82
Houston −3.63
Los Angeles −3.29
Phoenix 5.5

{Table from the journal published by American Journal: A comprehensive study of the COVID-19 impact on PM2.5 levels over the contiguous United States: A deep learning approach}

This table is more than enough to depict the fall of pollution rate in the cities.

Exposure to air pollution increased the spread of covid 19?

It is a well-accepted fact that the air pollution after effects helped the corona virus to penetrate and replicate easily. Massive studies were conducted worldwide to rule out the relation between air pollution and Covid 19. The virus showed a wide spread in the polluted areas than in the non-polluted areas. Air pollution affects the health of the human very badly, is a proven fact, with out the help of any studies. It is also a known fact that the coronavirus affects those with a compromised health than that of a healthy person. Now that equation stands right. The virus easily penetrates inside a person who is already affected by the exposure of air pollution and it can bring in more damage on that person as it can even bring in death of that person.


It was quite astonishing to see that the Covid 19 virus, paused the life of the World. It has wiped off many lives and the have affected almost more than half of the entire population around the World. According to, 6,584,527 people died as of now due to Coronavirus and there are 633,367,246 active corona cases around the World. Do you think that it a small number that a virus can sweep? And the most disappointing fact that the health hazards which existed helped the virus for leading a smooth expedition over lives.