Pandemic, Imagination, and the Rise of the Animal Kingdom


  • Jennifer Boivin Independent Scholar



The worldwide outbreak of COVID-19 caused most countries to declare a national lockdown during the spring of 2020 to avoid the further spread of infection. By the end of April of that year, most large urban centers in the world faced empty streets, closed businesses, and an eerie absence of their human population. During the lockdown, a new legend emerged, largely popularized by the media and different social networks: around the world, wildlife was repopulating and reclaiming the urban space once occupied by humans. This article addresses wildlife tales that appeared in the media during the first major lockdown of the COVID-19 pandemic in the spring of 2020. I argue that these stories share narrative patterns with other catastrophe tales, that they were created as a vernacular mechanism to cope with confinement, and that they were also a creative manifestation of human hope for a better post-pandemic world.







How to Cite

Boivin, Jennifer. 2023. “Pandemic, Imagination, and the Rise of the Animal Kingdom”. FOLKLORICA - Journal of the Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Folklore Association 27 (December): 25-50.