This article originally appeared on VICE ASIA.
Amid the coronavirus crisis, human activities are taking an unexpected break in most parts of the world. People are practising social distancing measures such as self-isolation at home to curb the spread of the potentially deadly contagion. The pandemic has temporarily caused factories to shut down, restricted human movement, and transformed urban landscapes into post-apocalyptic wastelands.
While this is all very gloomy for us humans, lower carbon emission levels and reduced human activity has turned out pretty great for the environment. These photos show how nature is reacting to the coronavirus.
The Himalayas are now visible from the state of Punjab in northern India, thanks to improved air quality during a nationwide lockdown.
As Iran imposed social distancing measures to curb the spread of the contagion, its air quality also improved significantly.
A break from tourist arrivals and heavy boat traffic in the Venice canals have allowed the previously murky water to clear up.
Goats in the seaside town of Llandudno, Wales, are storming deserted streets as residents stay indoors.
Meanwhile, deer in Japan’s Nara Park have wandered out of the park and into neighbourhoods in search of food due to a drop in the number of visitors to the park.
Satellite images show a remarkable drop in nitrogen dioxide levels in China from January to February, as the coronavirus triggered social distancing measures across the country.
And now the same thing seems to be happening in Europe.
The question is, will the effects of this pandemic on the environment last?
Experts say it largely depends on how long the coronavirus outbreak goes for, and that it could go either way depending on how the lockdown will change the way we act and think.
If anything, these photos at least show how there’s still hope for the environment, if we humans get our shit together.
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