During these COVID-19 lockdown times of ours, I’ve been thinking about the interesting research opportunities this strange occurrence must be affording scientists around the globe. For example, in the days following the 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York, weather scientists had a unique chance to study the skies without the influence of aircraft contrails. Certainly those kinds of studies can be done now, since air travel has been greatly reduced. I wonder what other branches of science this shutdown is helping. Are air-pollution studies easier to conduct? Can certain types of infrastructure examinations be completed more easily, without the burden of traffic and congestion? How is electricity use being affected? It’s an interesting line of thought to ponder.
This line of thinking, however, goes in a darker direction as well. How many more cases of depression will result from these upcoming months of isolation? Will suicides increase? What about divorce rates? How will children in school be impacted in terms of what they learn? What about their social development?
My daughter, who is younger than 2 years of age, is reaching a critical point in her development as a child. Her isolation from both family members and other children will certainly have a negative impact, at least in the short term. What kind of long term effects will it have? I guess only time will tell.