David Wiebers and Valery Feigin, What the COVID-19 crisis is telling humanity


Wiebers & Feigin (2020) make a strong argument for measures that would limit future zoonoses, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, by closing live-animal markets, changing our habits of food consumption and production, and reducing habitat destruction. These would help human health, animal welfare, and conservation of at-risk wildlife all at the same time. China’s command-and-control government can accomplish some of these things by edict, but slower-to-act western democracies play a surprisingly large role in these global problems by the power of their consumerism, including the illicit wildlife trade. We citizens need to insist that our government use all of its diplomatic soft power to engage (or re-engage) with other nations, and with global institutions such as the World Health Organization, various United Nations programs, and parties to treaties (some of which we still need to ratify, others of which we need to enforce at home) aimed at solving the interlocking global crises of species endangerment, habitat destruction, climate change, and emerging infectious disease.

Author Biography

Brad Bergstrom is Professor of Biology at Valdosta State University. His research interests are in higher vertebrate ecology and conservation. Website.