Outside of China, Italy has mysteriously and sadly become an epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic. With more than 35,000 documented infections and more than 3,000 deaths, health and government officials in one of the most uniquely European nations are embroiled in the worst health crisis in decades.
Yet, amidst the heartbreak and carnage, something beautiful, extraordinary and unexpected has occurred: dolphins and swans have returned to the famed canals of Venice; the ancient city of dreamers and lovers. Because of its popularity, this beloved community has had to endure trash and pollution in its waterways. But nationwide lockdowns have allowed the Venetian canals to refresh themselves. In a Facebook group, “Venezia Pulita” (“Clean Venice”), locals are sharing pictures of the city’s water looking unbelievably clean.
Now dolphins and swans – two of nature’s most heralded and mystical creatures – have innocently made their way back into Venice. It’s a bright spot in a world consumed with illness and tragedy.