Which should be the coronavirus lessons we should learn? We’re all locked in. Suddenly the world has come to a standstill and not even the Black Mirror serie could have reproduced such a situation: a devastating virus of uncertain origin that spreads with a sigh and has caused the governments of ALL the countries of the world to decree the order of confinement of millions of people.
And millions of people have obeyed.
Far from intimidating us, we must take this crisis as a UNIVERSAL EXPERIMENT whose results must be put into practice immediately if we do not want to spend our lives in quarantine. These are 6 lessons that imply a radical CHANGE of conscience, in order to become citizens who are truly demanding with our governments, critical of our companies and responsible for our actions.
✔️ Coronavirus Lessons #1: Listen to the Scientists
According to the America Society of Microbiology, this global pandemic was already predicted in 2007 when a group of scientists explained in a Clinical Microbiology Review article that the trafficking of exotic animals in southern China and certain extreme practices in some SARS laboratories were a time bomb. In exact words, as shown in the image below, they said this:
- The presence of a large reservoir of SARS-CoV-like viruses in horseshoe bats, along with the culture of eating exotic mammals in southern China, is a time bomb. The possibility of SARS and other new viruses re-emerging in animals or laboratories should not be ignored and therefore one needs to be prepared.
However, when the first outbreak was detected in Wuhan and warned of the risk posed by COVID-19, the governments of the so-called “first world”, one by one, ignored or downplayed its seriousness, until the number of deaths skyrocketed.
If we have obediently complied with such radical measures as crippling the world economy overnight, why are we so lazy in taking radical action to stop the destruction of the planet? In November 2019, more than 11,000 scientists from around the world warned in Bioscience magazine that “unparalleled human suffering” is inevitable unless there are radical changes in human activity to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and other factors that contribute to climate change.
Will we, human beings, be able to stop gawking at what the scientists say and take into consideration that we have to change our model of production and consumption, and demand that those who govern and supply us must also act?
✔️Lesson #2: If we destroy the natural habitat, the risk of infection is multiplied
If trees are cut down, is there more danger of a virus infecting us? Well, if you pull the string, you’ll see a lot. Viruses are elements of incredible simplicity: bits of genetic material (RNA or DNA) that make proteins and need cells to be able to multiply, that is, something like an industrial mold (the DNA) that makes a tool (the protein) and needs a machine to make many units (the cell). In the case of the coronavirus, the “tool” it makes is a destructive protein that prevents oxygen from entering the pulmonary alveoli and causing suffocation.
But viruses cannot use just any machine, that is, they cannot land on all types of cells and many times some of them cannot infect humans, but need other hosts.
If forests are cut down and the habitat disappears, the probability of contact of an infected host with humans is higher.
Scientists at the University of Berkeley have revealed that bats are the best hosts for viruses, and can easily infect other species. Under normal conditions, with lush forests and wild animals, parasites like coronaviruses would not infect us, first, because they are not “human diseases,” and second, because we are not likely to encounter wild animal hosts. However, if the forests are cut down and the habitat disappears, the probability of contact, and therefore of infection, is much higher. It is believed that in our case the COVID-19 came from the pangolin, a curious mammal whose meat is trafficked in China.
Other similar examples that will ring a bell are the devastating outbreak of Ebola in Africa in 2013-2015 through fruit bats that were displaced by logging, or the malaria outbreak in Malaysia in 2002 through monkeys due to the expansion of palm plantations.