As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to put city after city under lockdown, there have been a myriad of reports highlighting how bringing life as we know it to a halt has impacted the environment. China was the first to see historic drops in the harmful pollutant nitrogen dioxide, with one scientist even demonstrating how tens of thousands of lives could be saved from premature deaths linked to air pollution. However, he himself was quick to add that a lockdown was not a climate solution and the "lives saved" in no way paints a pandemic in a good light. His research was intended to demonstrate the importance of air pollution mitigation as a consideration for human health and how we should take it more seriously when all of this is over.
There have also been reports of wildlife returning to cleaner waters and elusive species coming out of the shadows as lockdown sees quieter national parks, but this is perhaps merely an indicator of the importance of conservation efforts once life returns to normal. While it's true the lockdown may trigger the greatest drop in CO2 emissions since WW2, the relatively short stint of lockdown (compared to the length of time human interference has been impacting our environment) is not going to provide some miracle cure-all. A deadly pathogen that has caused thousands of deaths while possibly plunging as much as half a billion people into poverty is not a solution. However, that didn't stop one now suspended rogue on Twitter saying "Earth is healing. The air and water is clearing. Corona is the solution. Humans are the disease!"
The post has been slammed by Extinction Rebellion (XR), who claim the @XREastMidlands group was never a recognized member of the community, and the general public alike. The silver lining is that the Tweet launched swathes of content from an internet community doing what it does best: turning annoying things people say into a meme format.
So here, to demonstrate that we are not the virus, are a few of our favorites.
If you're wondering what on Earth a cow is doing on the beach, she has just as much right to be there as you do. SMH.
Haters will say it's photoshop. (Expect a lot of this)
Did we mention geography was not our strong point?
Anything is possible if you just beleaf.
Majestic noodle-necked rhino gather by the watering hole.
We could all use a balloon right now.
As of yet, there haven't been any reports of the isolation song of penny, chip and used napkin.
They get younger and younger with each migration. SMH.
The delicious harvest moon.
Haters will still say it's photoshop. (Told ya)
In a while-o, croco-lilo.
Coming to a pothole near you.
Who needs high-resolution photos of the Sun when you have clear skies?
Wildlife cruising into lockdown cities like...
While lockdown isn't going to reverse the climate crisis, we can still enjoy some of the perks from the brief respite in emissions.