Adeela Hameed

When You Mess With Nature, It Messes Back

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Coronavirus lockdowns all over the globe have made people question life, their survival, and the future that will be, after the dust has settled. However, just being in self-imposed quarantines will not help reduce more potential outbreaks, possibly by other similar or different strains of virus. What we are doing right now is adapting to isolation, stocking up supplies, and being still. What we need is mitigation. Now that we have realized consequences of exploiting nature, the requirement is to hold on to that understanding and try to modify our lives. Although scientists have ruled out man-made origins of this virus, the ground reality is far from it. It doesn’t take a laboratory to manufacture a super-virus with high mortality rate in hosts and an even higher rate of transmission. What it does, is a bunch of selfish humans, or practically, more than a bunch of humans, who have the audacity to exploit nature beyond its threshold.

Let us dig deeper into this. Now that we are all inside our homes, with no added distractions, let us contemplate what messing with nature actually means. With upsurge in economic development in almost all countries of the world,leaders and bureaucrats continue to focus on inflating their egos, using urban villages and militia to gain foothold in the rat race for power and dominance, forgetting forests that were plundered, seas that were polluted and mountains that were bombed, to achieve this aim. Ignorance, or more appropriately self interest, prevails in the world today. Nature protects and provides for each creature present on this Earth. Interdependence exists everywhere. However, the faith humans believe in is far more fabricated than we think. With environmental plundering on the increase, our climate has changed too. Habitats that were unknown and untouched before have started to show. This unboxing has unveiled dangers of the unseen. Recent studies have revealed that virus dormant in ice sheets and glaciers are beginning to emerge as a result of global warming. These may or may not be dangerous to us, but we did take a gamble at life, didn’t we? Tropical rainforests, the hub of manifold species, have been cleared for human development, without any care of what dangers these might have in store for us.

Humans have tried to lead the world but unfortunately led it to disarray. Opting for secure homes by disregarding homes of other species has made us vulnerable to the wrath of nature. It all comes down to what we, as humans, stole from the environment instead of sharing it. Inequity in distribution of resources further worsens our problems. Some might argue why people have to eat animals with a high risk of infectious transmissions to humans whilst feasting on platters of meat themselves. This hypocrisy can be eliminated by sharing facilities with those who have less, efficiently consuming food without wastage, and setting a benchmark for distribution of each resource.

Troubles arise only when humans interfere with a balanced ecosystem. Nature has a capability, a tendency to restore originality. It is alive like us, and like us, it fights infections. Here, the infections are human-funded, caused by us, and in response also affect us. This ability of a naturally existing environment to restore imbalanced dynamics is negative feedback. To counter a virus, antivirals are developed. Similarly to counter abnormal exploitation of reserves, the environment retaliates by its own standard of fighters. Sometimes, these defenders may affect climate while at others lead to pandemics.

What we need right now is thorough reflection, both on material and spiritual planes. We should realize what disasters would follow if unchecked and biased use of environment is continued. Becauseno matter what we might build to battle it, nature will always win. Always.

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