Pandemic. The new normal?

9th April 2020

I don’t think anyone imagined something as tiny as a virus to completely change lives of people all around the world.

Except for Bill Gates.

Back in 2015, he delivered a very insightful TED talk about the unavoidable pandemic and our global under preparedness. He emphasised that we should consider possible scenarios, train healthcare professionals and invest more money into vaccine research.

No one believed him and he was often accused of exaggeration and some self-profiting intensions (because surely whoever wants to save other people’s lives has some self-profiting intensions!?).

Five years later, his predictions became a reality. The thing that makes me most sad is that it could have been prevented. If only people listened.

According to this Bloomberg article, the most critical facet of pandemic prevention is to ban the global wildlife trade, including the seafood market in Wuhan where COVID-19 may have first jumped from exotic animals to humans.

Research has found that almost half of the new diseases that jumped from animals to humans, including SARS, Ebola, Lyme, MERS, and others, can be traced to changes in land use, agriculture, or wildlife hunting.

And there may be another 10,000 mammalian viruses potentially dangerous to people.

So what can we do about it?

If we want to avoid future pandemics, we must start protecting wildlife habitats so that wild animals don’t pass infections to humans.

The best way to do that is to protect biodiversity and the health of the entire ecosystem on this planet. If we do that, we can restrain pathogens leaving the wild.

Thankfully, there is an organisation that is trying to help with that.

Convention on Biological Diversity is a 196-nation effort to protect and conserve at least 30% of land and ocean. If they achieve it, biodiversity losses could be cut in half.

This pandemic is a prove that we are connected to nature. We are a part of nature. And we must protect the animals' natural habitats for our own safety and for the safety of all generations to come.

You in?