In my last post, I interconnected how businesses supplying human activities generate profits while utilizing energy sources emitting greenhouse gases. In the process of advancing the global economy, humanity is destroying more wilderness for agriculture, mining and urban development. Another example of wealth before health negatively impacting Planet Earth’s health.
Scientists have warned us the destruction of wilderness as I alluded to in my Blink above results in the risk of releasing pathogens (viruses, bacteria, parasites or prions carriers of infectious diseases). Normally these micro-organisms living in the guts of animal species would remain in these areas. However, as animal species are being eliminated, the pathogens are forced to move elsewhere for survival. Consequently, numerous biological science studies reveal virus spillover from animals to humans has been exponentially growing over the past few decades.
A prime example is the origin of the coronavirus SARS-Cov-2 which has been speculated to be zoonotic in nature, most likely from the butchering and handling of bats in wet markets (popular in Wuhan, China) – which potentially infected another animal before spreading to humans. In addition, mass farming, involving animals jam-packed in very small spaces, and the huge overuse of antibiotics, creates environments where pathogens (e.g., swine fever) have the potential to flourish. Reality: The more we damage the ecosystems that support life on the planet to maintain our current human activities, impacting global warming/climate change long-term and recurring virus spillover (a.k.a. pandemics), we are prioritizing wealth before health.
Before I get off my wealth vs. health soapbox, I would like to examine global vaccination inequality. Approximately half the world’s population has received at least one COVID-19 shot. However, vaccines are not being distributed equally: Rich countries comprise approximately twice the population of low-income countries. They have received about 50 times as many Covid-19 vaccine doses, according to the People’s Vaccine Alliance. The countries with the lowest incomes, generally have the lowest Covid-19 vaccination rates. There are more than fifty countries where less than 25 percent of their populations have been vaccinated, thus putting a strain on their health systems and economies, plus leaving the door open for mutations/variants of COVID-19 as the pandemic rolls on. One company Moderna, headquartered in Massachusetts, only manufactures a vaccine considered one of the world’s best defenses against COVID-19. To maximize the company’s ROI, it has predominantly sold its product to wealthy countries compared to Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson Wealth before health?