This novel coronavirus is just one of a whole spate of other pathogens we’ve seen — Ebola in West Africa, where it had never been seen before, Zika in the Americas, where it had never been seen before, new kinds of tick-borne diseases, new kinds of mosquito-borne diseases, new kinds of highly drug-resistant bacterial pathogens.
We know that about 60% of these new pathogens originate in the bodies of animals. About 70% of those are in wild animals. But it’s not because wild animals are particularly infested. It’s because of the way humans and wildlife are coming into novel intimate contact, and that is because of human activities.
The climate crisis is resulting in tens of thousands of wild species moving into new places. It’s scrambling our migration patterns. That’s going to contribute to a broader phenomenon of people and wildlife coming into new kinds of contact.