What a silver lining!
Los Angeles was ordered to stay at home in an attempt to combat the spread of COVID-19, leaving millions of Angelenos without reasons to use their cars. As a result, in addition to a wet past couple of weeks, the city’s air quality is looking a lot better than usual.
According to air quality maps tracking the Environmental Protection Agency’s Air Quality Index, Los Angeles has been showing nothing the color green (the color that indicates the cleanest air) for almost three weeks straight! For context, last summer the City of Angels reached unhealthy levels of air quality almost every day.
L.A. has been named the smoggiest metropolitan area in the United States by the American Lung Association for the past 19 years. Greenhouse gases caused by transportation contribute the largest source of emissions in California, so fewer cars on the road and recent rainstorms have left us with cleaner air and unfamiliar views.
A policy director with the Coalition for Clean Air told Curbed LA that though the drop-off in traffic has definitely reduced emissions, he hopes that Angelenos advocate for policies that aim to reduce greenhouse gases, longterm, which include incentives to get more drivers to switch to electric vehicles or reconsider driving so often. He goes on to say that “[a global pandemic] is not the way we want to reduce emissions.”
So take advantage of the fresh air L.A., and take a walk around the neighborhood! Just be sure to practice proper physical distancing guidelines which include standing six feet away from others and remaining indoors when sick.
Featured photo: Shutterstock
Also published on Medium.