As a result of the stopping of human activity in developed countries, the European Space Agency has been able to show how nitrogen dioxide has decreased across the planet in time-delayed photography from space. While this of course won’t solve the impending climate change crisis, we are giving Mother Earth a bit of a break, and the planet appears to be thankful.
In Venice, Italy, the complete lack of gondolas in the canals has allowed fish to return and literally swarm the water. Dolphins have also returned. The water is crystal clear and blue, but Italians warn that that is a result of the lack of sediment being disturbed and not the lack of pollution.
Various businesses and artists have tried to offer some bonuses to keep us entertained and engaged such as Disney +’s early release of Frozen 2 and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, or even the VOD release of Cats, Invisible Man, The Hunt, Emma and Birds of Prey. In addition to these film treats, New York’s Metropolitan Opera is offering free opera online almost every night (https://www.metopera.org/about/press-releases/met-to-launch-nightly-met-opera-streams-a-free-series-of-encore-live-in-hd-presentations-streamed-on-the-company-website-during-the-coronavirus-closure/), and JSTOR (https://www.jstor.org/open/) an academic digital library is now free throughout the lockdown. Some of your favorite musicians are also offering free concerts (John Legend, Brian Wilson, Bono, Chris Martin) and there are fundraisers to help various workers such as Rosie O’Donnell’s’ fundraiser for Broadway employees on March 22nd on Broadway.com.
Of course, we’d all rather have our lives back to normal, but it is good to know that there are some good things available to entertain and distract us. Meanwhile Wonder Woman actress Gal Godot, on her sixth day of isolation in Israel, corralled 25 of her celebrity friends to sing a sort of exquisite corpse version of John Lennon’s “Imagine,” and it literally brought me to tears to see these privileged people in their homes in pajamas and no make-up experiencing what we are all going through.