I Can’t See The Epidemic For The Trees

Winterzeit

Now that I have had my second Pfizer-BioNTech shot, and will soon be 95% to 97.5% immune to our latest plague, I have a chance to be philosophical on the subject. Naturally, I turn to our friends at Deutsche Welle, the voice of Germany, for my information.

As it turns out, a brilliant Polish scientist at the University of Warsaw actually predicted the epidemic in 2018. After studying previous Covid outbreaks, Aneta Afelt came to the following conclusion.

“By being one of the regions of the world where population growth is the strongest, where sanitary conditions remain poor and where the deforestation rate is the highest, SEA [Southeast Asia] meets every condition to become the place of emergence or reemergence of infectious diseases,” Afelt wrote in a 2018 article.

So trees are the answer. Need more evidence? How about another equally brilliant woman scientist in Brazil. She thinks they will be the source for the next epidemic. The reason once again is deforestation.

Here’s the numbers.  “In 2015 the (Brazilian) government-led Institute of Applied Economic Research (IPEA) found that for every 1% of forest that was cut down per year, malaria cases increased by 23%.” And that is only the beginning. Professor Ana Lucia Torinho has the following to add.

“The closed forest is like a shield against external communities coming into contact with animals that are hosts for microorganisms that cause diseases. And when we fragment the forest, that opens new ways of entry to its heart. It’s a ticking time bomb,” Tourinho said, while pointing out the danger of large projects like hydroelectric stations in the Amazon.

Deutsche Welle

Columbia University in NYC has identified 3,204 different Corona viruses, just in the bats in Brazil. I suppose I won’t be going there anytime soon.

Here’s my woods now.

Temperate Forest

We have five acres of Oak-Hickory-Beech-Pine forest, and any number of second and third layer of canopy plants. One-half acre is right of way for the Alabama Power Co., which just happens to be one of the biggest polluters in the US. Shocking, I know.

Don’t worry about any epidemics starting in our woods. We occasionally cut down a small tree for making woodenware, but they grow back faster than we can cut them down. We burn deadfalls in the brick oven. Respect nature, and it tends to respect you back.