There's been a lot of finger pointing over where the coronavirus originated.
Did it come out of a Huanan seafood market, otherwise known as a wet market, in Wuhan, China?
Was it transmitted to humans from a pangolin?
Was it somehow contracted from a bat?
Did China develop it as a bio-weapon?
Is George Soros behind it?
Maybe no one is responsible.
We're all familiar with climate change's role in increasing extreme weather.
It's also plausible this pandemic is simply another result of our environmental degradation.
Zoologist Peter Daszak, who heads EcoHealth Alliance, an organization that studies the connections between human and wildlife health, said in an interview with Slate:
"You know how this story goes. First there's the panic, the search for something or someone to blame. In the case of the novel coronavirus, there was the story that the outbreak got its start at a local food market in Wuhan. But stories like that can get in the way of the bigger picture: More and more people are also living and working closer to wildlife. It isn't about one or two individuals putting people at risk. The risk also comes from clear-cutting rainforests, remote mining, and even widespread suburbanization."
A recent study out of the University of the West of England and the Greenpeace Research Laboratories at the University of Exeter hypothesizes that biodiversity and natural processes are "ultimately interlinked" with diseases.
Lead author, Dr. Mark Everard, explained:
"Ecosystems naturally restrain the transfer of diseases from animals to humans, but this service declines as ecosystems become degraded. At the same time, ecosystem degradation undermines water security, limiting availability of adequate water for good hand hygiene, sanitation and disease treatment. Disease risk cannot be dissociated from ecosystem conservation and natural resource security."
The United Nations' environment chief, Inger Andersen, asserts humanity's overtaxing the natural world has dire consequences, one of them being the current COVID-19 pandemic.
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