COVID 19 and environment, are they interrelated

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COVID 19 and environment, are they interrelated

Wildlife trade & deforestation to be blamed

Wednesday, 1st April 2020


COVID-19 pandemic that’s taking a toll on people’s lives all over the world is a disaster of our own making. What’s alarming is that, the present crisis we are in, and climatic and environmental crises are interconnected. Human being’s inability and reluctance to respect nature and wildlife is to be blamed for the current scenario. There is a rapid decline in biodiversity. When we say ‘biodiversity’, it includes genes, species as well as ecosystem.

 

According to the stats, wildlife trade brings at least three new contagious diseases out of every four, to people. In response to COVID-19 pandemic, we need to take into account, health of environment when we say ‘public health’. When there is an increase in deforestation, there is lesser habitat for wild animals. They are either in close proximity to human settlement, or wildlife is traded and hunted down, making transmission easy. In recent times, HIV, Hendra, SARS, Ebola, bird flu, swine flu etc have caused havoc, which are transmitted from animals.

 

Corona virus is said to have started in bats and spread through wet markets that trade live animals. Similarly, Ebola virus from central Africa and Hendra virus too, are known to have come from bats as a consequence of their habitat loss. Also, when there is migration of wild animals in great numbers, they interact with new species, thus exposing them to newer diseases. COVID-19 has a shocking ability to multiply and spread. It had already been predicted by scientists that there will be a ‘Disease X’ which will be originated in bats and spread through wildlife trade and environmental degradation.

 

We are already aware that Corona virus affects respiratory organs. Air pollution will only worsen our susceptibility to respiratory diseases. Time for us to open our eyes, isn’t it? Or, COVID-19 may be a reason for us to be more sensitive to nature and wildlife from now on! It’s high time that we stop exploiting wild animals for our personal gain. It’s time for us to stop cutting down forests unnecessarily to prevent another pandemic as deadly as COVID-19. Else, it is as good as digging our own graves!

 

 


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