During the water crisis that started in Flint, Mich., in 2014 after the city changed its water source and officials failed to inform the public of water quality problems, many people became sick.
"Even just after a weekend, disinfectant can be gone in some buildings and the water is vulnerable to contamination," Dr. Whelton said.
Due to the coronavirus outbreak's impact on travel and industry, many regions and the planet as a whole experienced a drop in air pollution. Reducing air pollution can reduce both climate change and COVID-19 risks but it is not yet clear which types of air pollution (if any) are common risks to both climate change and COVID-19. The Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air reported that methods to contain the spread of coronavirus, such as quarantines and travel bans, resulted in a 25 per cent reduction of carbon emission in China. In the first month of lockdowns, China produced approximately 200 million fewer metric tons of carbon dioxide than the same period in 2019, due to the reduction in air traffic, oil refining, and coal consumption. One Earth systems scientist estimated that this reduction may have saved at least 77,000 lives. However, Sarah Ladislaw from the Center for Strategic & International Studies argued that reductions in emissions due to economic downturns should not be seen as beneficial, stating that China's attempts to return to previous rates of growth amidst trade wars and supply chain disruptions in the energy market will worsen its environmental impact. Between 1 January and 11 March 2020, the European Space Agency observed a marked decline in nitrous oxide emissions from cars, power plants, and factories in the Po Valley region in northern Italy, coinciding with lockdowns in the region.