So the folks over at Nature have published a lovely study showing one of the great lessons we need to learn from the coronavirus epidemic. A lot of serious effort went into this. For we’ve a new zoonotic disease, there are issues which increases the risks of zoonotic diseases, we must therefore consider the risks of another zoonotic disease in our actions upon Mother Gaia.
That’s all a perfectly fine series of thoughts. And as I say, much work has gone into this.
Published: 31 May 2021
Land-use change and the livestock revolution increase the risk of zoonotic coronavirus transmission from rhinolophid bats
If we go disturbing horseshoe bats then millions more of us might die. So, immediately cease doing anything that might disturb horseshoe bats.
Genomic sequencing of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has shown that the virus is closely related (~96%) to a strain present in horseshoe bats7, but it is still unclear whether the spillover of SARS-CoV-2 occurred directly from bats to humans or through an intermediate species. For example, a strain of coronavirus very similar to SARS-CoV-2 was detected in Malayan pangolin (Manis javanica)8, a wild mammal that is frequently illegally smuggled from Southeast Asia into China and sold in markets8. Regardless of the specific pathway, the pathogen flow of emerging zoonotic diseases to humans is the result of human interactions with wildlife. We argue that the increasing incidence of emerging disease outbreaks is the result of a similar set of drivers able to change the distance and contact rates between wildlife and humans (as well as human–human interaction). Population growth, urbanization, increasing affluence in middle-income countries and the associated dietary shifts9,10,11, including increased demand for animal products, are driving agriculture expansion and changes in animal husbandry—often at the expense of natural ecosystems12,13.
Therefore everyone should remain poor, stop eating meat and in general how dxare you try to rise above that peasant lifestyle then.
The glorious joy of this being that it’s published right when we’ve that global opinion shift happening. From the Wuhan Fried Bat thesis to the Ooops We Made A Booboo In The Lab thesis.
All these maps, and calculations – and so too all the warnings and injunctions not to anger Mother Gaia – are wasted effort. As the coronavirus did not (OK, likely did not but I go with did not) come from that expansion of civilisation at all. It came from an English bloke paying a Chinese bird with American money to experiment on making bat coronavirii more infectious to humans.
Agreed, that’s the sort of mistake we probably shouldn’t make again. But it’s got bugger all to do with Gaia or disturbing her.
Which leaves us just to glory in the timing of the publication of this paper.