The Coronavirus Meme About "Nature Is Healing" Is So Damn Funny

We are, indeed, the virus.

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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 photos and videos of animals flourishing in our new less-human, and thus less-toxic, environment.

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.

Venice hasn't seen clear canal water in a very long time. Dolphins showing up too. Nature just hit the reset button on us

While humans carry out social distancing, a group of 14 elephants broke into a village in Yunan province, looking for corn and other food. They ended up drinking 30kg of corn wine and got so drunk that they fell asleep in a nearby tea garden. 😂

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.

with everyone on lockdown, the lime scooters are finally returning to the river. nature is healing, we are the virus.

"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.

Wow. This is New York today where the city’s streets are empty and nature has returned for the first time since 65,000,000 BC. The earth is healing, we are the virus.

Wildlife finally returning to Thames. Nature is healing🌷

With everyone on lockdown nature is getting a chance to recover. The wildlife is finally returning to its natural habitat. Just look at Inverness, Scotland. The Earth is healing. We are the virus.

Some were more ridiculous than others.

With everyone on lockdown, the furbies are returning to the forests & the earth is healing. 💜 Nature is amazing.

Wildlife is finally returning to inhabit the planet. Nature is healing. We are the virus.☺️🌍🌿❤️

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

Wildlife is finally returning, Nature is healing, we are the Virus

Wildlife finally taking back the world. Nature is healing🌻

Some have truly been terrifying.

Took this picture in Bury town centre this morning. Nature is healing.

the yodel boys are returning to their natural habitat. nature is healing, we are the virus

But by all accounts, nature is healing.

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

Wildlife is finally returning to Britain’s streets. Nature is healing 😍✌️

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