COVID Effect on the Natural World

COVID Effect on the Natural World
Empty Street in Miami Beach during lockdown March 2020

One interesting facet of the pandemic has been the COVID effect on the natural world. Worldwide reports have shown that animal life reacted to the reduced human activity. Here are some of the interesting cases:

1) In the Welsh village of Llandudno, a herd of Kashmiri goats descended from the Great Orme Mountain. The goats settled into the town munching on hedges and eating flowers and vegetables as there were no people around to run them off.
2) Dolphins showed up in Sardinia’s canals even though the media erroneously reported that they were in Venice’s canals.
3) Elephants invaded a Tea garden in China’s Yunnan province and became intoxicated after drinking corn wine.
4) Sparrows in San Francisco changed their song, although the reasons for this are not clear. The birds sang more softly and began hitting lower notes.
5) Raccoons shifted their activity periods from being nocturnal to operating in broad daylight.

All of this tells us that these animals have built-in systems of behavior that human activities have altered. When humans are not present, the animals return to the behavioral patterns of their ancestors. COVID reduced some of the negative aspects of human activity as well. In the spring of 2020, there was a 17% drop in carbon dioxide emissions as people reduced their driving.

God has built into the natural world a strong sense of behavior patterns, but most animals have the flexibility to adapt their behavior. Humans also can adapt to act in ways that benefit the world in which we live. We are not programmed to selfishness and to a way of life that destroys what God has given us. Now that we see the COVID effect on the natural world let us learn from this experience to become better stewards of God’s blessings.

— John N. Clayton © 2021

Data from Discover magazine, January/February 2021, page 30-32.