This article in Scientific American points out that three-quarters of the emerging pathogens that infect humans leaped from animals, many of the creatures in the forest habitats that we are slashing and burning to create land for crops, including biofuel plants, and for mining and housing. The more we clear, the more we come into contact with wildlife that carries microbes well suited to kill us—and the more we concentrate those animals in smaller areas where they can swap infectious microbes, raising the chances of novel strains.
This is a well-written statement entitled “When Confronting a Pandemic, We Must Save Nature to Save Ourselves” from the Centre for American Progress. The statement says COVID-19 outbreak has laid bare the need for a more proactive and integrated approach to fight infectious disease epidemics, which are becoming more common in many regions around the world. Specifically, we need to address the problem at its root: the destruction of nature. Nature is connected to human health, from the inherent mechanisms through which ecosystems regulate the emergence of new pathogens to the health benefits of spending time outdoors. But in our destruction of earth’s natural resources, we are losing these free services and reducing our resilience to new diseases.
While many of us are social distancing and self-quarantining, we have a lot of time to wonder, how did we get in this coronavirus mess in the first place? The answer is a zoonotic disease – a disease that can leap from animal to human. In order to prevent future pandemics, we need to change our relationship with wildlife. So what does that mean exactly?
1. Stop wildlife trade
2. Stop wildlife consumption
3. Stop destroying nature
Link to article: https://www.treehugger.com/health/how-stop-pandemics-3-steps.html