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Covid-19 has made me ponder whether humanity is that great after all?

As humans we are told that our ability to think makes us special, and humanity is great because we treat each other with respect and protect our most vulnerable, but is this true? Even if this is true, is it enough?

Covid-19 has shown what is regarded as acts of altruism, while countries have lined up to applaud the health workers who put their lives on the line to save others.

We are being told to stay at home to save lives, but for how long we can only speculate.

The UK has largely followed this course of action, leading to many people putting their lives on hold, waiting and hoping for this to be over. I certainly fall into this category as I miss being at university, which gave me a purpose, that subsequently has led to me being at home with my parents, feeling tired and once again in the role of a child.

While our concern seems to be largely about what happens within the UK, what about countries in Africa? Who don’t have the healthcare system to cope with this pandemic, can we consider humanity to be great if a humane catastrophe happens there?

Surely the vulnerable within our country are just as deserving as the vulnerable there. How can it not be?

I also find this approach hypocritical, as I have never fully understood why human lives seem to be of such importance compared the lives of animals. We strive to save every single human life, yet we wipe out species to just sustain our way of life. Surely our preponderance to use up the world’s resources is inflicting damage on future generations.

The crisis has changed our behaviour significantly. Flights have been grounded, carbon emissions have dramatically fallen, fast-fashion industries, which seem to have little purpose, have been completely halted and the scarcity of food has meant it has taken on a new importance. Will this pandemic show that it is possible to change our behaviour to save our planet?

In the Guardian I read an article that predicted that more pandemics are likely to happen in the foreseeable future. These pathogens have hosts, and when we destroy their habitats, along with the hosts, these viruses will not just disappear, most likely they will mutate to find a new host, namely us. So, while the world has gone into lockdown over covid-19, which has a low death rate, it might just be a matter of time until we are faced with a new pathogen which has a much higher death rate.

The time to act is now, don’t forget how quickly our lives can be upended if we take mother nature for granted.
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Viruses aren't prompted to mutate because a host becomes rare. They mutate at a rate determined by chemicals or radiation in their environment, and I suppose a base rate. If a host vanishes, so do the viruses. So no, destroying habitats would be likely to reduce virus varieties, not increase them.
this is the article that I referred to https://www.theguardian.com/environ...uction-of-nature-responsible-for-covid-19-aoe

Within it they talk about the numerous viruses which are yet to be discovered, and how the destruction of ecosystems leads to conditions where it becomes more likely for viruses to jump to new species. Nature acts as a barrier to these pathogens. These can often be spread by bats and rodents, which thrive in when we disrupt ecosystems.

I am by no means an expert in this, but it makes sense that the more we disrupt ecosystems the more negatively it will impact us, after all we rely on nature for our food supplies and much more.
Humanity is great?

We treat each other with respect?

You might want to reiterate all the things you've assumed.
Within it they talk about the numerous viruses which are yet to be discovered, and how the destruction of ecosystems leads to conditions where it becomes more likely for viruses to jump to new species. Nature acts as a barrier to these pathogens.

It's not so much about viruses yet to be discovered, but rather new viral variants. Viruses are mutating all the time. Increased exposure to new variants increases the chance that one will be able to replicate in human cells, which will increase the chance that it will mutate further into something dangerous.

The increase in exposure to different ecosystems, due to roadbuilding, increased pressure to hunt further, etc, will increase the chance of exposure to new viruses. It's not really changes in the environment increasing the mutation rate. I don't see how 'nature' can act as a viral barrier.

A common misconception about evolution is that it's some sort of force driving towards an end goal. Viruses with a diminishing source of host cells don't feel a force to mutate towards something that can replicate in a new host. Evolution is more of a historical record of probability and statistics regarding self-replicating units (works for non-living self-replicating units too). Viruses that lack a host simply die off. Mutants that can replicate in a new host live--and multiply.

With evolution, it's important to keep in mind all the species and variants that died out. All the 'winners' in evolution are just the ones that haven't died out yet.
Anyone else get the hunch that the virus feels more like it's in "the air" all around us? There have been people that got sick that weren't even close to being "exposed" to anyone that was sick. I'm not sure why the Australian wildfires that killed over a billion animals last year isn't looked into as a possible predecessor to what's happening now. Aside from eating "Chinese food" theories, anyone else feel there's something else to the coronavirus that is of supernatural origin? I'm not talking about something that can't be explained since this isn't the forum for it.

I've known of people who mentioned to me that the air outside feels or smells different than they've ever known. I thought I was the only one to notice since late last year.
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I'm probably as old if not older than your grandmother and I have this to say:

We can overthink everything we read and do. Does that help anyone? For the most part, no. I've thought of most religious idiologies, the way some parts of the world will always (at least in our lifetimes) be difficult to live in, diseases, overpopulation...well, you can do a lot of thinking in 73 yrs., especially if you read a lot.

I think that what it all comes down to is this: The big picture is a totally overwhelming one, thus we can only deal with what's near to us...whether it's a family in need or even a relative that's lonely and feels unwanted. We take care of the big picture by nibbling at the small one, thus containing it. All things change....people, neighborhoods, social popularity, hemlines....everything is subject to change and change it does. Who knows where we'll want to live in 200 yrs. or even why?.... and yes, your first year of university like my granddaughter's was spoiled and that's a shame. BUT it's not the end of your world, it's simply a few more months. At the same time, look inward...what have you learned out of this, what have you brought to the table of discussion, and aren't you lucky that you have parents to return to in the interim?

Life has always been filled with questions, uncertainty and the knowledge that we may not end up as we intended. How do we counteract all of that negative thinking....by turning it upside down and thinking of the positives. I truly hope you make a better world than the one we created, but that all remains to be seen, doesn't it? You'll have knowledge that we never even dreamed of, but with knowledge comes great responsibilty. Good luck in your life....and make changes with something small that you can control. Right now the planet's just too big for us to deal with one on one. We do have people putting a lot of their rightful gains into improvements for the Third World. Read about them, learn about them and ultimately, help them. That's all any of us can do. Best wishes for your life. Yours, Lenora

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