Have Oceans Gotten Worse Since COVID-19?


Grace Walsh

A photo of the ocean from the beach.

Considering the COVID-19 pandemic had locked humanity indoors and had positively affected litter rates and the carbon footprint in the environment, there has been a sudden increase in pollution since the quarantine ban was lifted.

When everyone was quarantined, the oceans were evolving back to how they were before the large increase of pollution. Coral reefs were going back to their state of color, less plastic and trash floating. For instance, in Venice, Italy, the canals were filled with debris and the water was trashed and cloudy. When people were quarantined, and no one was able to go out, the canal cleared up because of the lack of boat traffic.

Masks have made a huge impact on the oceans, and not a good one. Since quarantine was lifted masks and gloves have been polluting the ocean’s water. Making waters dangerous for the creatures that live in them. By incorrectly disposing of just 1% of masks, that would make up at least 10 million masks polluting nature per month.

The mass amount of people not social distancing and having COVID parties aren’t helping the resolution of slowing COVID-19. Having to make more face coverings for more individuals that would possibly end up in oceans and increasing pollution rates would be detrimental to the environment.

There are many solutions, but everyone would have to be on board. There are the obvious solutions and that is to have reusable masks and clean those and use them. But not everyone has a reusable mask and has to get the single use masks. Another solution would be to try and stay inside and away from people to where you don’t have to wear a mask. But you can’t stay inside forever and not ever have to wear a mask.
Trying to get it to a corporate level would be hard but can get done with the right amount of time, but people would also have to be cooperative and agree.