05 Jun Is COVID-19 the wake-up call for humans to save the environment?
#TimeForNature – World Environment Day
Life on Earth came into existence billions of years ago – with millions of species of different kinds of wildlife and microbial organisms – what is today known as biodiversity. And nature has always ensured a balance. That is right before humans evolved from chimps (according to Darwin).
For years since then, humans have been using (and abusing) the environment at their behest in the name of development. We have indulged in hunting, poaching, deforestation, and what not! As a result, there has been a rapid and significant negative impact on climate and environment. Recent disasters such as Australian bushfires, Amazonian fires, locust infestations across the world, unprecedented cyclones & hurricanes, and worst of all, the recent pandemic caused by the novel Coronavirus – are all consequence of increased human interference with the natural biodiversity.
Humans are known to take, and take, and take until we deplete the earth of its resources. Extinct and endangered animals and plants are proof of the pudding of our greed. With COVID-19, things have come to a head and that is why we need an observance such as the World Environment Day – to engage individuals world over who can act and influence the masses to be conscious of the environment around us.
COVID-19 is not a disease, it is a symptom
The emergence of a pandemic in 2020 has further emphasised the message nature has been trying to send us for years now. According to the UNEP, close to 75% of all emerging infectious diseases are zoonotic – meaning – they are transferred by animals to humans. Research says it is very likely COVID-19 came from animals, specifically from a species of bat. And while it is nature from where the pandemic emerged, it is also nature that can protect us from such pandemics in the future – but only if we protect Earth’s biodiversity.
How? The lesser we interfere in nature’s activities, the lesser there are chances of our interaction with the millions of species of dangerous, undetected microbes that can cause dangerous diseases such as the COVID-19.
It is now time for us to take a step back and stop the cruelty, realise the consequences of our actions before it is too late, and take corrective measures. We need to remember, nature will give us many warnings before unleashing its absolute wrath, but we need to recognise and heed to said warnings. And COVID-19 is just that – a warning, a symptom of a much larger disease that needs to be treated, a wake-up call.
If we do not wake up today, it might be too late tomorrow.