The COVID-19 lockdown has witnessed some welcome changes in nature with the levels of smog causing nitrogen oxides going down drastically after transportation came to a halt. With swans returning to the Venice canals, dolphins in the port of Cagliari, majestic pink flamingos near Mumbai in India, ducks in the fountains of Rome and rare South Asian River Dolphins spotted near ghats of Kolkata in India, another unexpected side effect of the lockdown is the restoration of direct visibility between Finland and Estonia, across the Gulf of Finland. Also Read - COVID-19: Cardiff Half Marathon Postponed Till March 2021
Seems like Mother Nature is treating humans for their cooperation in quarantine as the people on the coast of the Finnish capital of Helsinki can now see the land of Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, when standing on a high enough ground. The news was first reported by an international daily which quoted researchers in Finland crediting the less transport exhaust gases in the air. Also Read - Wildlife Trade Monitoring Network 'TRAFFIC' Indicates Wild Animals in 'Additional Threat' as Poaching Doubles During COVID-19 Lockdown
A researcher on air quality at the Finnish Meteorological Institute, Jukka-Pekka Jalkanen, shared with the daily that this miracle of clarity in visibility between the two cities was due to decline in the amount of smog causing oxides of nitrogen. Also Read - Corona Effect: Baby Boy Born In Manipur Quarantine Centre Named 'Quarantino'
This rare phenomenon is a result of reduced passenger transport on the Gulf during the coronavirus lockdown and has not been possible for decades. The two cities are situated across the Gulf of Finland with a distance of some 80 kms between them.
Map showing Finland and Estonia (Photo Courtesy: mapcruzin)
Though some of the ferries continue carrying freight reportedly, departures of large ferries from Helsinki was reduced from Ninety-seven scheduled weekly to fifty one now.
Earlier, Finland was in news for joining the bandwagon of countries to publicly blame China for selling over 2 million ‘surgical masks’ and 230,000 respirator masks that don’t meet the necessary medical requirements. Many countries around the world are facing a dearth of personal protective equipment (PPEs), including masks, amid the coronavirus pandemic but have still refused to import them from the Chinese markets because they ‘do not meet quality standards’.