It is far from easy to find a reason to remain positive these days when we are inundated with news about the increasing number of cases affected by the novel coronavirus.
Yet, the safety measures government around the world issued to prevent its rapid spread, brought about something positive indeed. Apparently, our environment benefits from our social isolation.
The lockdown in Italy and China dramatically reduced the air pollution, and now, residents of Venice were surprised to see the canals’ murky water become crystal clear.
Images and videos of the water reveal fish swimming in the canals after all activities have been stopped during the COVID-19 quarantine.
Venetians haven’t swum in the lagoon water for several decades, mainly due to the intensified boat traffic in the canals, and the numerous giant touristic and commercial ships.
Venetian real estate agent Marco Capovilla recorded the clean canals, and stated that the “striking view” is something he ‘had never seen’ before:
“During these days, traffic in Venice has become almost absent. the city doesn’t have sewers, so normally everything goes into the canals, including detergents and cosmetics. Thanks to the quarantine, we are experiencing a cleaner environment.”
Another Venice resident, Martina Bettoni, explained that the sight of so many fish in the canals was extremely rare previously, and said she hoped that “when this is over, Venice will be able to strike a balance between tourist crowds and cleanliness.”
Yet, the Venice mayor’s office explained that the cause of the change:
“The water now looks clearer because there is less traffic on the canals, allowing the sediment to stay at the bottom. It’s because there is less boat traffic that usually brings sediment to the top of the water’s surface.”
Twitter users were also pleased to see another positive outcome of the clear waters in Italy. Namely, a Twitter user posted photos of swans swimming in the now-clean canals, taken in Burano, an island in the Venetian Lagoon.
Here’s an unexpected side effect of the pandemic -- the water’s flowing through the canals of Venice is clear for the first time in forever. The fish are visible, the swans returned. pic.twitter.com/2egMGhJs7f
— Kaveri 🇮🇳 (@ikaveri) March 16, 2020
Many Italians see the positive change as a reason to learn a valuable lesson, but still hope for the better.
One Twitter user, Francesco Delrio, wrote:
“Boars in the middle of my hometown, dolphins in the port of Cagliari, ducks in the fountains in Rome, Venice canals have now clean water full of fishes. Air pollution dropped. Nature is reclaiming its spaces during quarantine in Italy.”