Pandemic & The Environment, Nature & Humanity … Linking Them Inseparable

The epidemiological situation that we are going through on a planetary level has shown us that damage to the environment by human activities can give rise to what we call “emergency and re-emergence of diseases.” The emergence of the coronavirus is a clear example of these processes, which invites us to reflect on the scope of the human impact on the environment and its impact on health. Most people tend to stay at home, busy themselves on the Internet, playing on allvideoslots, shopping online, having meetings on Zoom, and so on.

The link between local human impact and global problems is not a new discovery. For example, back in June 1972, at the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment held in Stockholm (when the notion of “environment” came onto the international agenda), Sweden was concerned about the contamination of its domains. In the midst of the reflections, the countries realized that they were not self-contained units, but rather that some were vulnerable to actions and decisions taken by others, since the pollutants are not managed nationally, but travel all over the world. Thus arose a new category of environmental problems: “global issues.”

Those of us who are dedicated to studying environmental problems understand “global issues”, and that all ecosystems work in harmony as a unit, linking their resources and processes at the local and global level. However, for people who are not in these areas, it is sometimes difficult to keep this interrelation in mind: for example, where the things they consume and discard come from and where they go, or what consequences a daily action has at the local level for the environment itself and for the health of people globally.

Some of these “global issues” of environmental health are evident in the pandemic, in which a virus that was in an Asian bat ended up in every corner of the planet, in the bodies of more than 33 million people, and counting …

Environmental, animal and human health

The current model of development and consumption in most countries does not correspond to a respectful attitude towards the environment. And, as a consequence, the critical situation to which we are taking ecosystems has harmed us, making us more exposed to pandemics like the one we are suffering from happening again. The existence of more than a million species is threatened by the action of man, and with each loss the dilution or damping effect of the spread of infections from an animal species to man diminishes.

The care -or better still, the non-damage- of nature is an investment, which is the best vaccine to protect us from viruses that currently affect wild animals, with which we interact more and more -and in a worse way- to root of the alteration (due to contamination, fragmentation, destruction, overexploitation) that we carry out on the ecosystems where they live.

In this sense, about five years ago people began to think about a communion between environmental, animal and human health. Taking into account this new paradigm, it is that today health is understood within a complex ecological context, under an integrative vision within the framework of the concept of “one health”. One Health: environment-animal-human (concept promoted by WHO).