We’re all living in world gone mad, forced to hide in our homes from a deadly virus, only going out in a (sometimes futile) search for necessities.

That sounds like a dystopian novel, doesn’t it?

Here’s what the writers of those apocalypse movies and books never spend much time telling us, though – the world itself is happier when people aren’t out there traipsing all over it.

According to the European Space Agency and other independent researchers, satellite images are showing significant decreases in nitrogen dioxide emissions over Italy since the lockdown. Air pollution has decreased most markedly in the northern part of the country, where most of the population resides.

Claus Zehner, ESA’s Copernicus Sentinel-5P mission manager confirms,

“The decline in nitrogen dioxide emissions over the Po Valley in northern Italy is particularly evident.

Although there could be slight variations in the data due to cloud cover and changing weather, we are very confident that the reduction in emissions that we can see, coincides with the lockdown in Italy causing less traffic and industrial activities.”

Here’s another look at how the pollution is changing…

Josef Aschbacher, another director at ESA, added that

“Copernicus Sentinel-5P Tropomi is the most accurate instrument today that measures air pollution from space.

These measurements, globally available thanks to the free and open data policy, provide crucial information for citizens and decision makers.”

Basically, all of the scientists looking at earth from space see only a planet that is really, really happy to have a break from all the humans. It almost seems as if it’s breathing a sigh of relief, honestly.

And you don’t even need a fancy satellite to see how she’s changed for the better – people in Italy are snapping images of how the canals in Venice have become crystal clear due to reduced traffic.

Swans and dolphins have already returned to frolic, too.

I know everyone is anxious to get back to life as normal, but I’m thinking perhaps we should take a closer look at the evidence of what we’re doing to the planet, and adjust accordingly.

It seems like a good time to take stock of how we need to do everything, and what’s actually essential.

Don’t you think?