Articles and op-eds have been circling the internet during the last few weeks comparing the global response to the coronavirus outbreak to that of the climate crisis. Fast Company published an article outlining potential measures to slow environmental destruction that would be analogous to those being taken to stop the virus. A piece in the New York Times even explicitly ties the two crises together, speaking to the connections between air pollution and respiratory illness.
Amid the outpouring of bleak news, though, the global pandemic is proving the immediate effects humans’ daily habits have on the environment and the potential benefit of drastic measures, even if they’re not directed at combating climate change. People around the world have been sharing photographs on social media showing just how quickly nature takes over when people are quarantined in their homes.
Swans and dolphins have returned to the canals winding through Italian cities, and the water is clear enough to see through to the bottom due to a lack of boats turning up silt. One of Venice’s natives even shared an image of a wild boar in the middle of the street.
Similarly, the thick haze of smog that seemingly was suspended permanently above Los Angeles has lifted, offering a surprisingly clear view of the city’s skyline. NASA also has released satellite images that show how the air quality over China has improved dramatically since the outbreak. As one Twitter user said, “Seems like Corona is the vaccine and we are virus of the nature!” (via Hyperallergic)
Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member and support independent arts publishing. Join a community of like-minded readers who are passionate about contemporary art, apply for our annual grant, and get exclusive access to interviews, partner discounts, and event tickets.