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Global Pandemics & Global Climate Change


Do global pandemics and global climate change affect each other? How?

In my point of view, I can say it is affirmative that global pandemics and climate change can affect each other in many ways. Here is how they both affect each other.

The degradation of the environment can lead to pandemic. Our globally connected world has made us vulnerable to the rapid spread of new zoonoses pathogens that jump from animals or birds into humans and cause outbreaks of disease. The emergence of another infectious disease with pandemic potential is inevitable. It is just a matter of time. Climate change and environmental instability are expending the range diseases carrying animals such as mosquitos and bats, which can migrate to and thrive in parts of the world where they were previously unable to survive. This in turn will increase the number of animals to human interactions, boosting the chances that virus and other pathogens might spill over from one space into another.

Extreme Weather Condition can lead to Health risks: Climate change is associated with more frequent and severe weather events such as heatwaves, hurricanes, and floods. These events can have direct health impacts, including mosquito-borne infectious disease (malaria). As the globe warms, mosquitoes will roam beyond their current habitats shifting disease like malaria, dengue fever, and West Nile Virus. Just as snowbirds flock to warmer climate is moving that comfort zone for many animals, including disease-carrying mosquitoes that kill about 1 million people a year. According to Mordecai’s research it has been found that warmer temperatures increase the transmission of vector-borne disease up to an optimum temperature. Just as they carry different disease, different mosquitoes are adapted to a range of temperatures. For example, malaria is most likely to spread at 25 degrees Celsius (78 degrees Fahrenheit) while the risk of zika is highest at 29 degrees Celsius (84 degrees Fahrenheit).

Does destroying forests invite pandemics and worsen the climate crisis? This is indeed a fact that forest destruction can lead to pandemics. When forests are destroyed, it may cause wildlife species to displace, putting them in closer proximity with other and to humans. Scientist have been warning for years that this increases human exposure to new infectious diseases and makes us more vulnerable to pandemics like Ebola, Zika, and Covid-19.

Additionally, deforestation, will also lead to a climate crisis. Forests are vital for the health of our planet. They provide food and shelter for so much of life on Earth from fungi and insects to tigers and elephants. They play a crucial role in regulating the Earth’s climate by absorbing carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere through photosynthesis. When they are destroyed, either for agriculture, logging, or urban development, the sored carbon is released back into the atmosphere as CO2 contributing to greenhouse gas emissions and exacerbating the climate crisis. Moreover, deforestation reduces the planet’s capacity to absorb CO2, further accelerating climate change.

How is your country affected by the compound risks of Covid-19 and climate change? I am from Guinea-Conakry, located in West Africa. The COVID-19 pandemics affected my country, just as they have affected every other country in the world. It has affected the entire population, especially low-income communities, marginalized groups, and regions with limited access to healthcare and resources. The lockdown policies also caused job losses and an economic recession. This, in turn, led to numerous illnesses and deaths. I can recall a few months before the pandemic, I traveled to Guinea to spend two months on vacation. However, I ended up spending six months with a limited budget due to the pandemic global lockdown. I personally fell ill during the pandemic. The death rate was very high at that moment worldwide–such as in Italy, France, and New York City. I remember going to a local clinic to check myself to see if it was the COVID-19 virus or another disease. However, the clinic had refused to see me. They stated that they were not receiving any patients due to fear of the COVID-19 infection. Despite being very sick, I managed to walk to another clinic again. Fortunately, I have been received and checked for COVID-19 and other potential diseases. The results showed that I had typhoid fever and malaria. That was my worst experience with the COVID-19 pandemic in my home country. Additionally, since Guinea is in the tropical region, we always have warm temperatures. There was a theory that countries in warmer temperatures or regions did not experience a high death rate due to the COVID-19 pandemics compared to countries in the western hemisphere.

References:

https://cepi.net/climate-change-isnt-just-warming-planet-its-increasing-spillover-risks-and-pandemic-threats

https://www.unep.org/news-and-stories/story/six-nature-facts-related-coronaviruses

https://www.google.com/search?sca_esv=183f9140eeaab3e5&sxsrf=ACQVn0870zD3NDg8qkF420VjQ1gy6YcdZQ:1711838644962&q=how+global+warming+lead+to+disease&tbm=isch&source=lnms&prmd=ivnsbmtz&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjr0eHyh52FAxVdN2IAHQ9YBTwQ0pQJegQIChAB&biw=1104&bih=568&dpr=2.01#imgrc=HwqqL0h7TLuw5M

https://www.google.com/search?sca_esv=183f9140eeaab3e5&sxsrf=ACQVn0870zD3NDg8qkF420VjQ1gy6YcdZQ:1711838644962&q=how+global+warming+lead+to+disease&tbm=isch&source=lnms&prmd=ivnsbmtz&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjr0eHyh52FAxVdN2IAHQ9YBTwQ0pQJegQIChAB&biw=1104&bih=568&dpr=2.01#imgrc=n0LAIxr3cQ41mM

https://www.linkedin.com/posts/conservation-international_what-drives-deforestation-and-how-can-we-activity-7097639556543307776-TApd/

https://www.google.com/search?q=guinea+conakry+during+covid-19&sca_esv=4c3180f19713410c&udm=2&biw=1106&bih=570&sxsrf=ACQVn0-qX0wPfK47HJkzZMxCXCZpyOXz9Q%3A1712199869327&ei=vRgOZvzEE–v5NoP9bWlqAg&ved=0ahUKEwi8l_vHyaeFAxXvF1kFHfVaCYUQ4dUDCBA&uact=5&oq=guinea+conakry+during+covid-19&gs_lp=Egxnd3Mtd2l6LXNlcnAiHmd1aW5lYSBjb25ha3J5IGR1cmluZyBjb3ZpZC0xOUjJV1DSBlihUXABeACQAQKYAdcDoAHRFaoBCjIzLjIuMS4xLjG4AQPIAQD4AQGYAg6gApAIwgIEECMYJ8ICBhAAGAgYHsICBRAAGIAEwgIHEAAYgAQYGMICBBAAGB6YAwCIBgGSBwQxMi4yoAfjOQ&sclient=gws-wiz-serp#vhid=HKdHEwUhQcYeUM&vssid=mosaic

 

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