The natural world thrived in this year of chaos – and its healing powers remain, if we know where to look
If there was one mitigating circumstance about the coronavirus pandemic that first hit Britain in January 2020 it was that the virus struck in the early part of the year, when the northern hemisphere was entering into springtime. The coronavirus spring that followed turned out, in fact, to be a remarkable event, not only because it unfolded against the background of the calamitous disease, but also because it was in Britain the loveliest spring in living memory. It had more hours of sunshine, by a very substantial margin, than any previous recorded spring; indeed, it was sunnier than any previously recorded British summer, except for three. It meant that life in the natural world flourished as never before, just as life in the human world was hitting the buffers.
Now, as we head into the pandemic’s autumn, and with it a second wave of infection and fresh curbs on our lives, there are lessons to be learned from looking back at our initial confinement in March, April and May, and in particular, at the springtime in which it occurred.