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COVID-19 'Silver Lining': Nature On Reset Button As Humans Forced To Be Caged


21 March 2020

Sangita Agarwal


Bhubaneswar: The roads wear a deserted look. The sky is clearer as flights are grounded. Water bodies are cleaner as ships, motorboats and steamers are off their routes. All due to coronavirus spread and scare, nature is getting its space to rejuvenate itself. 

The man had intruded into its spaces and created havoc everywhere. But now it is caged, thanks to his own folly (ironically, this virus is not natural).

Though many theories are been constituted terming it as nature's vengeance it is actually the unnatural activities of humans which are the main culprit for the current situation. David Quammen very rightly has written in the New York Times identifying the current scenario: “We cut the trees; we kill the animals or cage them and send them to markets. We disrupt ecosystems, and we shake viruses loose from their natural hosts. When that happens, they need a new host. Often, we are it.”

And now it is our turn to be caged so that nature rejoices in reclaiming its spaces. Initiating with China, there has been a drastic fall in the levels of nitrogen dioxide as can be seen in the satellite images from NASA. And it was first noticed around Wuhan, where there was a complete shutdown owing to the outbreak. Similar images have come from across the world where such quarantine measures had been taken. 

First silver lining, a drastic drop in air pollution.

The iconic canals in Venice attracted tourists from all over the world making it one of the most overcrowded spots. Now it heaves a sigh of relief as this pandemic has made it all the more cleaner with lesser boat traffic and beautiful as fishes find their space in the water.

The missing cruise ships have made the coastline conducive for Dolphins to return to their own spaces in Italy. This is definitely a reason to rejoice in spite of the deadly virus claiming hundreds of lives all over the world. 

Social media users are gaga over dolphins appearing on the coastline of Italy nearly after 60 years, and it is a matter to rejoice, but as National Geographic reported the 'Venetian' dolphins were spotted at Sardinia, in the Mediterranean Sea, hundreds of miles always from the place of the outbreak in Italy. Still, it is a silver lining in this terrible situation. 

Second silver lining: cleaner water bodies.

The humans who had forgotten to co-exist with the animals at forcibly made to realise their folly. Otters are seen roaming freely in parks of Singapore. Geese were spotted crossing the Tarmac in Israel's Tel-Aviv, as no human activity posed a hindrance to their simple activity. Aquarium in Chicago had penguins roaming around it visiting their co-inhabitants, wondering at their good luck all thanks to the deadly virus. 

Third silver lining: the inhabitants reclaiming their spaces.

Humans have always acted in a manner as if they own the planet. We have forgotten that it is a home to many other animals and we just share it with them.

Over the years, humans have encroached into the private spaces of other animals, razed down forests, destroyed habitats, and have simply fulfilled our own greed, still wanting for more. Nature warned through signs, cried out in forms of hurricanes, cyclones, famines, floods, tsunamis but nothing could get the humans come together as a flock to the idea of co-existence. Despite repeated warnings in most severe forms by nature, humans did not accede to the need of the hour and continued exploiting nature for its greed" Now, KARMA has taken a turn and the humans are forced to take steps, much against their wishes which is beneficial to Mother Earth.

The onus is on humans to cleanse the environment. The folly of a single human on this planet (Wuhan outbreak) triggered the much needed cleansing movement. 

It is just that humans have unintentionally hit the reset button of Nature.

Nature is seen thriving. As humans are retreating, the nature seems to reclaim its spaces. And this is the only silver lining to this terrible situation.