Amanda Hess & Shane O’Neill / The New York Times

I Watched These Pandas Have Sex. I’ve Never Been So Happy, 2020
4:21 mins

The COVID-19 pandemic reordered our relationship to urban spaces and their ecologies, or so it may have seemed. As city streets become depopulated worldwide due to the risk of contagion, wildlife experienced newfound freedom to roam areas typically crowded with human activity in what some called the “Anthropause.” Meanwhile, people increasingly turned to the internet to observe the non human world—from zoo “Panda-cams” to social media posts of wild animals that eluded our attention before. In this New York Times video, internet and pop culture critic Amanda Hess reflects on the underlying meaning of the “coronavirus nature genre” that swept into popular attention on the web during the early months of the pandemic in terms of observations of “nature” but also our persistent fantasies of it in a moment of environmental crisis.

© 2020 The New York Times Company. All rights reserved. Used under license.