Reduced human activity during the coronavirus lockdown doesn’t just make for cleaner skies. According to the British Lung Foundation, the lockdown has led two million people in the UK with respiratory conditions, such as asthma, to experience reduced symptoms.
A survey, by the charity, of 14,000 people with lung conditions found one in six had noticed improvements in their health. Among children, the figure was higher, with one in five parents saying their child’s condition had been alleviated. Asthma sufferers in particular reported benefits, with one in four noting relief. The number of visits to hospital emergency departments for asthma in England has also fallen by half during the lockdown, according to Public Health England data.
While it is unclear how much of the decrease is due to a reduction in symptoms or people’s reluctance to visit the hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic, there is growing evidence from around the world linking increased COVID-19 infections and deaths to air pollution exposure, which is why the many British politicians have been advocating for air pollution to be kept at low levels to help avoid a second peak of infections.