When people think of the impact of coronavirus on the natural world, they talk about things like reduced air pollution, animals expanding their territorial range, and reduced carbon emissions. Those are good things, but there are also problems.
Think about PPEs. These require extraction of more resources in order to make. Gloves are also made of synthetic materials that are not biodegradable. Where will these increased gloves go? Even when I bought face masks the other day, I noticed that they were made of polyester. That is a synthetic thread. Where will all of these masks end up when they are used or the pandemic ends? Also think about the trees that have been cut for toilet paper. More paper towels will be thrown out as everyone is cleaning surfaces much more often. Also think about sanitation wipes, which we are using more of. Where will they end up. Finally, we've also seen images of people in haz-mat suits disinfecting everything in sight, from benches to streets to sidewalks. That disinfecant material is going to circulate throughout the natural world. What kind of impact will that have? On biodiversity? On human health?
We really need to think this through.