The Earth is taking back what we stole

Emily Merlin, Social Media Manager

Ever since the start of this national pandemic, I have noticed the number of cars during rush hour have amounted to nothing. I found this delightful because I didn’t have to worry about someone cutting me off on University Avenue. While the lack of people and cars not only benefits me but it benefits the planet as well. Let’s take a look at Italy for a second.

Italy was hit hard when the virus came to them. Everyone is trapped inside their homes and the only a bit of fresh air they can get is from opening their windows. Although the people are struggling and having a difficult time processing and adapting their way of life, the earth is coming back better than ever.

The canals in Italy have been this murky green color for decades. Then, once the entire Italian population is barred from leaving their homes, the canals become clean once again! They are now a gorgeous crystal blue color, where you can even see the bottom of the canal. There were many rumors regarding swans and dolphins returning to the Italian canals, but National Geographic writer, Natasha Daly, debunked those untruths. It’s not entirely uncommon for animals to come back into cities looking for food from humans who are no longer there. There are many animals who have adapted to rely on humans to feed them and their families.

There is a city in Thailand, Lopburi, which is notorious for its stealing monkeys. These monkeys have learned that there are tourists who have food and other shiny items that they can take. Last month, there was a brawl of these monkeys fighting over a yogurt cup ( In this case, we need tourism to help these monkeys survive since they have adapted to humans.

All in all, the lack of humans on the streets can amount to good and bad outcomes. I don’t think it’s necessary to expel all of humankind to help the environment, but I do think that fewer people out on the streets could help. Starting small by having people work from home to reduce the amount of carbon emission from cars, or create better public transportation. Even though this article may never reach the government officials who think they know what’s best, but we as a community can do our best. We can carpool with family, friends or coworkers to help create a cleaner environment and empty out our roads.