I’m not one for conspiracy theories, but there was a part of me that wanted to believe COVID-19 was a man-made virus. That’s because I naively hoped that if humans actually created such an awful illness, there had to be a antidote created that could stop it.
News cameras would show a smart, brave scientist holding the needle he used to inject himself with a special serum. Of course this happens after he’s evaded a hoard of zombies mulling around the WHO World Headquarters in Geneva.
OK, so maybe I’ve watched World War Z too many times, but my thought was that if man created this virus, man could destroy it… right?
But like all things COVID, the reality of what we’re dealing with doesn’t have a quick solution.
The World Health Organization just confirmed that COVID-19 wasn’t created by humans. “Researchers with the organization said the novel coronavirus stemming from the result of a lab accident was ‘extremely unlikely,’ confirming what most health experts had said since it first emerged in late 2019. The evidence continues to point toward the virus spreading from animals to humans.”
Now that we know COVID-19 is a zoonotic virus that jumped from animals to humans, we must face the real issues and ask ourselves why this happened. What makes a virus jump hosts?
First you should know that it used to be incredibly rare for a virus to jump from one species to another, especially from animals to humans. But when it happens, it causes severe illnesses like Yellow Fever, Lyme disease, Sars-CoV and MERS and even deadlier diseases like Ebola and COVID-19… which by the way are very different.
“This is because viruses and their initial hosts have evolved together, and so the species has had time to build up resistance. A new host species, on the other hand, might not have evolved the ability to tackle the virus.” This explains why COVID-19 has had such an intense impact on us. Our bodies don’t recognize this virus and when that happens, it takes longer for our immune systems to fight it. Sometimes so long, that millions can die.
So now that we know COVID-19 came from an animal, what do we do?
We may not have mixed it up in a test tube, but humans are still responsible for creating this mess.
That’s because we are destroying so much of the planet. We’re polluting our water, heating up our atmosphere, burning down the rain forests, coming into contact with animals we barely knew existed and killing off species that host tons of unknown viruses. We’re leaving these zoonotic viruses no choice but to find new, plentiful and abundant hosts, like us.
We had warnings this would happen, but sometimes giving up our bad habits feels like too much work.
So we keep living our lives, all the while destroying our world, until one day we wake up to find life has been permanently changed anyway.
Just a year ago, wearing masks wasn’t a thing and keeping six feet apart was only for the socially awkward.
Like it or not, we must face the consequences…
Change our ways or move underground like characters from The Hunger Games where trust ME, the odds will never be forever in our favor.
This is the stuff Sci-fi movies are made of, but we don’t have to let real life be this way.
There are things we can do to prevent zoonotic viruses, repair our planet and reverse our fate. Best of all, despite what you might think, they aren’t that difficult to do...
3 ACTIONS TO HELP STOP FUTURE PANDEMICS
Read The True Story
Become aware of what’s happening to our planet by subscribing to news sources that focus on it. These sources keep us up to date and help us gain an affinity to animals and places we never knew existed. By learning and discovering more about them, we become empathetic and inspired to preserve the natural resources needed to keep our planet healthy and safe for every species.
Three of my favorite subscriptions are to:
The Rainforest Foundation US Burning and destruction of the rainforests is one of the biggest reasons zoonotic viruses are becoming more common. This news source shares what’s happening to our planet and opens our eyes to the indigenous communities trying to save it. Check out their home page for 10 actions you can take now to help stop the destruction of the rainforests.
Amazon Watch This news source sheds light on the people fighting to save the Amazon Rainforests. It exposes the dangers we face when these forests disappear and shows us the corporations behind some of the destruction. The news isn’t always good but preserving these forests is imperative for our survival.
The New York Times Climate Forward This free newsletter delivers once a week to your inbox. It offers eye-opening stories on what’s really happening to our planet and clear insight on how and why we must combat climate change.
Change Your Behavior Close To Home & Become A Hero
Start by downloading a couple Apps that will make you more aware of your impact on our environment and help you find ways to change it for the better.
JouleBug This APP helps you live more sustainably by buzzing whenever you do something sustainable. You can even make a game out of it and compete in challenges with friends to see who’s greenest. What I like most is you can join communities to learn the latest on sustainability where you live so you can actually see your impact. You can earn achievements, share how you’re making a difference and find inspiration to make our planet cleaner.
LiveGreen Daily Carbon Tracker Our carbon emissions are one of the biggest reasons for climate change. This App helps you see your carbon footprint so you can reduce it by tracking your daily carbon emissions from meals, travel, purchases and more. It even recommends personal actions you can take to reduce your carbon footprint and helps you plant real trees and grow your own forests.
Change The Ending & Give A Little Bit
Few of us have the time or means to travel to the Amazon or fight the major polluters destroying our planet in court, but there are legitimate, established and trusted organizations doing the hard work for us.
Become a donor and support them.
Even small donations have a big impact…
My favorites are:
We will conquer COVID-19 but if we don’t take actions to preserve our planet and all the species on it NOW, another deadly pandemic will be right behind it. I’d like to think COVID-19 is the rude awakening that will make us act.
Sitting on the couch watching movies like Contagion can be entertaining but knowing this is happening and happening now is scary. I’ve never been a fan of reality TV and I have no desire to live thru yet another one of these deadly pandemics.
So let’s make this our wake-up call because last I checked, there’s no helicopter that will lift us to safety and no cast of characters swooping in to save us. We each must do our part so this ends well for all of us.
Human behavior has caused these viruses and human behavior must change to stop them.
No more sequels! Let’s make this the end of the story.
– Germaine Caprio, MAJAMAS EARTH Company Owner & Designer
Let ME know:
How are you helping protect the environment during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Please share your own thoughts with us – let’s get a conversation started in the comments below!