There is no doubt that the grim realities of how the world is battling a virus that has taken the lives of many have been devastating but there has been one positive outcome - Nature is prospering.
Several countries have imposed lockdowns on their residents and human activity has significantly decreased. People are sharing clips from around the world, especially countries that have been hit hard by coronavirus like Italy, of how animals and the environment have benefited.
Clearer waters in Venice?
Italy is one of the worst hit countries by coronavirus with over 4,800 deaths so far and the nation on a full lockdown.
As people stay at home, videos of Venice, Italy with crystal clear water, showing fish swimming are being shared online.
A video of a deer roaming freely in a cathedral in Italy has also been shared. It is unclear where exactly the clip was taken.
Cleaner air and chirping birds
It’s not only Italy, but people from around the world are noticing that animals are living at ease and reclaiming their habitats as human intervention has minimised.
Social media users shared videos of clear skies and birds chirping from around the world. A slowdown in vehicle traffic has resulted in noise pollution decreasing in major cities.
Reports of 'empty' streets from different cities of the US, Ukraine, Tunisia and several other parts of the world have been shared.
Twitter user @IreneRizzo_ shared a clip of how a neighbourhood in Germany recently looked like.
New data from the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Copernicus Sentinel-5p satellite, which can measure concentrations of greenhouse gases and pollutants in the atmosphere, shows that between January 1 and March 11, concentrations of nitrogen dioxide over Italy fell drastically.
Tweep @reviewwales from the UK, shared a video from Wales of birds chirping.
In China, where the virus was first detected, a sharp decline in pollution and greenhouse gases has been recorded as well. Social media users are sharing pictures of how decreases in industrial, transportation, and business activity since the coronavirus outbreak has reduced levels of atmospheric nitrogen dioxide (NO2) over the country.
Humans will be humans
While pictures and videos of the positive impact on Earth provide hope in difficult times, incidents of people not learning to protect the environment have been concerning.
Reports of people discarding face masks in Hong Kong have raised concerns. According to a report by Reuters, Gary Stokes, the founder of the environmental group Oceans Asia, said that he found 70 discarded masks within 100 meters of a beach and an additional 30 masks when he returned a week later.