The Covid pandemic is a wake-up call for humankind. It is nature telling us that we need to respect the planet more. Humankind needs to respect nature because if we abuse it, it bites us in our bum 😕 . It reacts. It is a form of karma. What goes around comes around as they say.
In this instance it is believed that Chinese vendors in wet markets abused nature by chopping up animals in an unregulated way, splashing body fluids over themselves and contracting the disease from perhaps a pangolin which caught the disease from a bat. The alternative is that the virus escaped from the Wuhan biolab. That’s messing with nature for very dubious purposes. We don’t know the origin but these are the two options being considered by the experts. Both are abuses of nature. The CCP (Communist Party of China) has belatedly recognised the health dangers of their wet markets by cleaning them up after the horse has bolted.
“We cannot allow a situation where we have gone through all we have gone through, and then find that the enormous economic losses we have sustained mean that there is still no funding for pandemic preparedness.” – Dame Sarah Gilbert
The warning comes from the scientist Dame Sarah Gilbert who helped create the AstraZeneca vaccine which has saved hundreds of thousands if not millions of lives. She said that the next virus could be more contagious and more lethal. Her words are a warning about how humankind should respond to Covid. It’s how humankind should respect nature more in order to prevent further health and economic catastrophes like Covid. She was giving her warning while delivering the 44th Richard Dimbleby lecture named in honour of the broadcaster.
She made it clear that humankind should not pass up this opportunity to consider afresh the funding that needs to be put into preparedness for a possible next pandemic. There have been enormous losses, in the trillions of dollars, because of the pandemic. It makes economic sense for the governments of developed countries to put some taxpayers’ money into funding pandemic preparedness.
There have been advances in science in tackling pandemics because of Covid. Humankind should not lose that progress. The AstraZeneca vaccine has been used in more than 170 countries. Dame Sarah has worked on vaccines for more than 10 years and she was recognised with a damehood earlier this year for services to science and public health.
A recent study published in PNAS tells us humankind has inherited about three quarters of the earth’s land area for at least 12,000 years. Of course, humans have left their mark wherever they have gone. Perhaps people know this already. One scientist believes that people don’t understand this but I do. There are very few pristine places left on the planet. It’s been gobbled up by people. And exploited. I don’t think you can get away from that obvious conclusion.