It started with a tweet by Jalandhar photographer Anshul Chopra showing of the Dhauladhar mountain range rising majestically in the distance. Old-timers were amazed. The Dhauladhar are located more than 200 km away from Jalandhar and had become visible because the 21-day lockdown to stem the spread of Covid-19 has lowered atmospheric pollution levels. The photograph made its way around social media with messages noting that the nationwide lockdown wasn’t entirely without benefit.
Soon after, satirical tweets flooded the net, claiming that very distant and entirely fictional locations were visible from India.
The yearning for a “return to nature”, to a world in which trees and flowers and birds and animals can roam about untrammelled by humans, is one of the wistful consequences of the global lockdown. Dolphins have returned to the canals of Venice, whales swam by an oil rig in Bombay High. Many of these stories are fake, as a report in the National Geographic pointed out, but that didn’t stopped them from gaining traction across the world. Among those who were fooled by the “nature is healing” fake news was cricketer Rohit Sharma.
What better way to puncture fake news than through memes? Twitter users have pointed out other ways in which “nature is healing”.
This one related to a lake in Mumbai, now surrounded by high-rises.
What better proof of Earth-healing can there be than the sight of computers and pizzas finally being allowed to grow and flourish?