Earth Day recently passed on April 22, and like every day since the pandemic began, it was vastly different than it was last year.
But at the same time, it could have never been better.
While COVID-19 runs uninhibited across the planet, so does nature, and all things connected to it.
In areas of Japan, deer are now strolling along deserted streets and into subway stations, as people stay home there.
On a French beach in Corsica, cows frolic in the sand instead of human beachgoers, while in Paris ducks waddle on silent roads.
Boars roam throughout Barcelona, Spain from nearby mountains; and in Llandudno, Wales, herds of mountain goats now freely graze within the still Welsh town.
Even here in the U.S., there have been numerous sightings of new residents in our old empty areas.
From coyotes and wild turkeys in California, or wild turkeys in Boston, Massachusetts, to mountain lions in Boulder, Colorado, nature is reclaiming and marking its territory accordingly.
But nature is not just the land, but the air and water also.
As a result, countries worldwide such as China, Dubai, Italy, and India are reporting record reductions in air pollution due to ceased or diminished commuting, since Coronavirus quarantines began.
American cities like New York City, Los Angeles, Washington D.C, and our own Miami are also noting the improved air quality within them.
Seemingly in sync with this, Miami’s coastal waters have gotten cleaner and clearer too; as other city’s waterways do the same: such as in Venice, Italy.
There, the water has gotten so clear that residents have reported seeing fish -- and in some cases jellyfish and dolphins -- gliding through the vacant
Venetian waterways and canals, as opposed to their once prevalent
gondolas and its passengers.
As nature now reminds all of us how much bigger it is than any one of us, some believe that our current viral situation may also be nature’s way of also
retaliating against us for our previous mistreatment of it.
On April 8, Pope Francis in an e-mailed interview to online magazines Commonweal and The Tablet, explained how he thinks the current pandemic is nature rebuke to how we’ve continually ignored and abused it.
“We did not respond to the partial catastrophes,” Pope Francis said. “Who now speaks of the fires in Australia, or remembers that 18 months ago a boat could cross the North Pole because the glaciers had all melted? Who speaks now of the floods?...I don't know if these are the revenge of nature, but they are certainly nature's responses."
Whether this is the case or not -- regardless of the terrible toll taking place now -- nature is rejuvenating, reinvigorating, and replenishing.
Maybe this time next year, we’ll be doing the same alongside it, as opposed to in spite of it.