A Silver Lining to COVID19: The Environment Is Visibly Much Cleaner

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With every negative there comes a positive, even with the mass lockdowns occurring in Italy while trying to contain the COVID-19 virus. And this time it comes in the form of a cleaner environment.

As of today, Italy’s population of 60 million has been in lockdown since March 10. The lockdown will remain in place until April 3 at the earliest. With no signs of the virus abating, and with death rates now surpassing 2,500, the nation is at breaking point. But since the government-declared lockdown, one of its national tourist treasures has never been cleaner.

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El otro lado del Covid-19 Las aguas del Canal de Venecia (Italia) se han visto recientemente cristalinas debido a la ausencia de tráfico de personas (locales y turistas) sobre sus aguas. El lodo se ha sedimentado en el fondo y la superficie del agua ahora nos muestra los peces que han vuelto y los diseños arquitectónicos del lecho del canal. Hace mucho este lugar no se veía así. • Imágenes: Clean Venice • Sigan a @biologia.en.el.aleph para más biología 🧬 y a @ciencia_en_el_aleph para más ciencia 🧪 • • • • #biochemistry #biology #biologia #bioquimica #venecia #venice #covid_19 #coronavirus #virus #venicecanals #venicecanal #italy #italia #science #fotografia #photography #ciencia

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Venice’s locals have noticed clearer water canals, noting that fish are even visible swimming around. In fact, the images comparable to some weeks and months ago are stunning, featuring now aqua-blue waters that are almost crystal clear.

“Nature resumes its life…how beautiful,” wrote Maria Lanaro, one social media user, while another wished the waterways were always this clean.

Venice’s mayor was quick to downplay the comments of pristine waters, claiming the canals looked cleaner because of less boat traffic.

However, there is no arguing that the water and air quality is less polluted than what it was at the start of the year.

In November, Venice was hit by historical floods that resulted in millions of euros in damage. At the time it was also struggling with unsustainable over-tourism, a shrinking local population, and the sinking of historical buildings into water ways.

Some see the coronavirus as a blessing in disguise.

The coronavirus, which originated in Wuhan, China, has seen a string of cities shut down as the pandemic takes its grip on the world. At the time of publishing, the John Hopkins Map records a total of 7,948 deaths and a promising 81,950 recoveries. Over 198,000 confirmed cases have been recorded worldwide, with many countries suspected of under reporting.

Other cases of improved environmental quality have been recorded in China, where the shutdown of factories and mass transit have led to a massive drop in air pollution. NASA maps showed a vast improvement in toxic nitrogen dioxide levels since the mass quarantine was introduced.

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