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Article: When the virus saves nature

Quando il virus salva la natura

When the virus saves nature

Shops closed, shutters down, factories stopping production, empty streets, canceled flights, canceled cruises, postponed events. This is just a small part of what is happening these days almost everywhere in the world due to an invisible enemy called coronavirus , scientific name COVID-19. What initially appeared to everyone as a harmless flu is slowly changing, perhaps forever, the way of life of all humanity . The coronavirus, like locusts and plankton, belongs to that class of living beings that are extremely small in nature but capable of having a shocking impact on the entire modern globalized society. The coronavirus is forcing us to reevaluate the relationship we have with Nature , it is forcing us not to be complacent in the face of what globalization has produced. From now on we should all consider the need to recognize that at the end of the decade we could find ourselves in an even worse situation if we do not change our lifestyles.

The frenetic emphasis on exports and the excessive thirst for profits must be tempered, the imbalances corrected or the lungs of the world will give out. Mangroves are irreplaceable . Forests are worth trillions and increasing in value every year. The cost of biodiversity loss is incalculable . We must integrate the economy of our society within an organic context. Extractive industries have taken too much from the planet. We must reverse a course that is too dangerous and restore another way of life . Start from the right questions. For example, ask ourselves what we really need. It seems that the virus is David forcing the giant Goliath, represented by the human structure, to slow down. Thus allowing pollution to dissipate over China and Italy and the world's temperature to drop before asphyxiating the entire world population.


There is no doubt, in fact, about the sad reality that the whole world is fighting, but there is a ray of light that illuminates this uncertain time: nature is thriving . Precisely in Venice, which until a few days ago was besieged by tourists, the water seems to have become crystal clear and full of life again. But not only in Italy: people from all over the world are noticing how fauna is reclaiming their habitat . Monkeys invade cities in Thailand, looking for food. In Japan, deer take to the roads and foxes are encountered more and more often in the countryside and population centers of Europe. Again in Italy, in the port of Cagliari, dolphins have been seen again and it seems that the mallard has returned to nest in Venice. In short, thanks to social distancing it seems that nature has returned to reclaim its spaces . But the strangest story comes from China, reported on Weibo, a popular Chinese social network, and then picked up on multiple channels. A group of elephants in Yunnan province, taking advantage of the semi-deserted lands due to the isolation, would have raided a village, precisely in the fields of some farmers. The animals would then have crossed the fields feeding on sugar canes, crops, corn and drinking supplies of a farmers' distillate, so much so that they ended up drunk and dozing in nearby tea fields.

In short, while the world stops, there is no shortage of images and videos of the positive impact on the Earth that comes from this increasingly feared coronavirus. A way to find some hope in difficult times .

At the moment, the biggest threats to the delicate balance that makes this planet habitable are human-caused climate change and the destruction of biodiversity . Scientists agree that if individuals, companies and governments do not take significant action within the next decade to reduce emissions, the damage will be catastrophic. The effects on the natural world are already enormous, just look at the spread of more and more infectious diseases. But where scientists and popular movements have so far failed to convince the world to act, it seems that Mother Earth has succeeded: carbon dioxide emissions have plummeted, the air is cleaner and nature is thriving . But not only; As the virus is believed to have originated from wildlife sold at a Wuhan market, Chinese authorities are changing laws and regulations related to the country's massive wildlife trade to prevent future outbreaks - a win for biodiversity . In short, all that remains is to find a balance so that the human being does not disappear completely. The deaths of thousands of people around the world should serve as a permanent reminder of the precious fragility and delicacy of life .

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