The "Nature Is Healing" Meme Is The Only Good Thing To Come From The Coronavirus

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Let’s start with the good news.

With humans around the world trapped indoors in an effort to halt the spread of the coronavirus, satellites orbiting the earth have documented a discernible drop in air pollution. With fewer cars on the road and factories open, humankind is finally giving the planet a much-needed breather from CO2 emissions.

But there are also some unbelievable reports about nature coming from right here on earth.

People have been posting on social media photos and videos of animals flourishing in our new less-human, and thus less-toxic, environment.

People rejoiced and showered these posts with hundreds of thousands of likes and retweets.

Fact-checkers, though, can be real killjoys.

One by one, reporters, including us at BuzzFeed News, were able to show that most of these reports were fabrications. (Except for that town in Wales overrun by goats. That is real. Thank god.)

But humans are a resourceful bunch, and in the face of this devastating letdown, a new meme was born: “nature is healing, we are the virus.”

From what we can tell, the meme started on March 26 with a tweet from Ronnie Becker, a design student in Minneapolis.

“There were tons of posts about the Venetian canals clearing up and the dolphins returning to Italy/various animals returning to typically urban areas and was annoyed by the eco-fascist statements of ‘we are the virus,'” Becker told BuzzFeed News via Twitter DM.

“I just thought of something that clearly does not belong in nature and as someone who hates the scooter share business I thought the Lime scooters in the river was perfect,” she wrote.

After Becker’s tweet went viral, a new meme was born as people showed increasingly ridiculous shots of the “natural world” returning to cities.

Some were more ridiculous than others.

Others made reference to our feline friends — including the stars of Tiger King.

Some have truly been terrifying.

But by all accounts, nature is healing.

And though we may be the virus, we’re a hilarious one.

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  • Emmanuel Felton is an investigative reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

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