In August 2020, I found myself in Istanbul during a brief ebb between COVID-19 pandemic waves. The city was gripped with a heat wave that left its mask-wearing citizens sweltering, and in an effort to escape the overwhelming grip of the sun I walked west along the northern coastline of the Sea of Marmara. The wind off the sea was cool, and Turkish families with small children waded in the shallows. The water was full of ghostly jellyfish. Suddenly a cry went up: The curve of a dolphin's back had been spotted. Then another; a third one. The pod of dolphins was diving for fish, herding its prey into the angle of an outcropping where the dolphins could feast at leisure. Later, I read in an article from Agence France-Presse that the dolphins had returned to Istanbul as a result of the coronavirus: “Dolphins swim in the Bosphorus as virus...

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