COVID-19 Might Mean Humanity Has Entered An Age Of Pandemics

from BuzzFeed News

Humanity has “entered a pandemic era,” with the worldwide coronavirus outbreak likely the first of accelerating epidemics to come, top US infectious disease scientist Anthony Fauci and other public health experts are warning.

In an August report in the journal Cell, Fauci and epidemiologist David Morens, his National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) colleague, foresee an accelerating rate of pandemics in the years ahead driven largely by deforestation, urban crowding, and wet markets for wild game, which will make increasing environmental degradation worldwide in this century, “the key determinant of disease emergence.”

“I don’t have a crystal ball, but what we are seeing looks very much like an acceleration of pandemics,“ Morens told BuzzFeed News.

These diseases increasingly either reemerge from older menaces, such as West Nile virus or antibiotic-resistant bacteria, or jump from wild animals to people, most notably with the deadly coronaviruses, SARS, MERS, and now SARS-CoV-2. The long-standing patchwork approach of responding to each new outbreak with emergency declarations followed by spurts of funding has to transform into a broader change in how people live to forestall the illness, deaths, and havoc of these plagues, Morens and Fauci argue.

“Evidence suggests that SARS, MERS, and COVID-19 are only the latest examples of a deadly barrage of coming coronavirus and other emergences,” they conclude in their report.

More here.

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24 Comments

  1. This is honestly one of the scariest articles I have ever read. The fact that we can enter into a “pandemic era” is terrifying in itself because even with enduring eight months of COVID, the United States still is in the first wave with no end to it in sight. When COVID was first seen as a big problem and not just “some virus in China” I told my dad I thought it was going to hit the US the hardest because a lot of people here do not listen to authorities. We have people refusing to wear masks because it is “against their Constitutional rights” to mandate putting a piece of cloth over their faces in the grocery store (no, Karen, it is not). Meanwhile, places like France and Spain are most likely entering the second wave with more knowledge on how to handle the situation. If Dr. Fauci and David Morens are correct, what does that say for the future of America? Is it going to be second nature ten years from now to grab a mask before walking out the door? Are we going to have to talk to our grandparents through a screen indefinitely?

    The map shows a cluster of various emerging diseases in the United States that I was surprised to see. Before COVID, I thought diseases like the ones listed came from places where overcrowded and without access to proper medicinal remedies. A question I have is- could the prevalent emergence of new diseases/ viruses in the US be because of the rise of “anti-vaxxers?”

    I think that in accordance with Dr. Fauci, countries need to focus more on environmental issues because clearly, they can lead directly to infectious diseases. Take deforestation for example, when the homes of animals carrying infectious diseases are burned down where else do the animals have to go? “Many viruses exist harmlessly with their host animals in forests because the animals have co-evolved with them. But humans can become unwitting hosts for pathogens when they venture into or change forest habitat” (National Geographic). How I interpret this is that because of the migration of these animals outside of their original habitat, it leads to them coming in contact with humans more and therefore could be the next commodities in the animal markets we know of in major cities. A prime example would be COVID and the bats.

    Source: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2019/11/deforestation-leading-to-more-infectious-diseases-in-humans/#close

  2. When reading this article, it makes it more eye opening that pandemics, like this, can happen more often. When Dr. Fauci used the term “pandemic era” this should cause panic or at least caution for governments all over the world to be better prepared for the next one, when or if it comes. The United States was not well prepared for the Coronavirus and now we have almost reached two hundred thousand deaths nationwide. I remember telling my mom, back in February, “when the virus reaches New York City, it is only going to get worse from there”. That is exactly what happened, New York was one of the hardest hit states when the pandemic hit.
    From wet markets, to wildlife trading, there are many things that have to stop, so that pandemics like this will stop from happening.
    It is not only things like wet markets and wildlife trading that are causing diseases to emerge, but as the article mentions, “environmental degradations” like deforestations and the amount of CO2 emissions being released into the air every year. Animals are forced out of their habitats and moving toward people, causing people to be more in contact with wildlife. If people act soon, as the article states, some diseases can be prevented before it starts to become a really big problem.
    If this is the case, then the world has to be better prepared for situations like this in the future. The article mentions Fauci and Morens reporting, “living in more thoughtful and creative harmony with nature,” is exactly what the world needs to hear. We, as humans, need to find a way to coexist with nature and learn about how to better handle climate change. Learning how to recycle and being environmentally conscious of the things that we buy everyday can help. As we are all experiencing, the pandemic has impacted all of our lives in a negative way and has changed our way of life.

  3. I found this article quite intriguing, especially since it applies to all of our futures. The opening Vergano leads with is very strong and grabbed my attention very quickly by stating how dire of a situation this is to have the sudden emergence of so many illnesses. Many people would not even want to think of one, but Vergano names the more recent coronaviruses and a few erupting diseases throughout the world to show how vulnerable we truly are. Not only does he do this, but he explains how it could get worse, and to me it seems like it will get worse, based on what shocking information Vergano compiles together. From deforestation to wet markets, there are many ways the human race is exposing these diseases/viruses, as well as our weak defense systems, both biologically and socially.

    The fact that we, as a collective human race, can most likely prevent “the next” global illness is mind-boggling because, chances are, many people will not comply or even care about it the next time we have a pandemic. The COVID-19 issue of today may quickly dissipate in importance in the minds of the public, once the world can relax when hearing buzz words like “coronavirus”, of course. It is sad to think this because many deaths could be prevented and less families torn from the stress over world-wide diseases like COVID-19. As Vergano mentions, we should stop treating each new disease as a “one-off emergency”, as we plunge into a state of helplessness, sorrow, and fear.

    Based on the deductions from Dr. Anthony Fauci and David Morens (that Vergano includes in this article), we are highly threatened by “deforestation, urban crowding, and wet markets for wild game”. As I mentioned earlier, many people will stop caring about the situations that COVID-19 brought forth, but I do not entirely see this as the public’s fault. Through my eyes, a government is not protecting, serving, or leading the people of a country if they allow for things like the above to occur. Governments are well aware of the possible and probable dangers that are brought to light when a disease or virus is the topic of discussion. Regulations for deforestation could include larger reservation areas or replenishment once an area is downed. Some vendors at wet markets for wild game are arguably illegal as is, so it seems like there needs to be more enforcement at the selling point of wild game, as well as the the acquirement of the wild game. When it comes to urban overcrowding, there are things that can be done to protect people for the sake of everyone’s health, such as free vaccinations, low-priced medication, and better living conditions brought on by local governing bodies. These are just to name a few, but looking forward I believe there will be a time where articles like this one will not be of relevance.

  4. This article was honestly quite alarming to read, while simultaneously eye opening. For myself and my family the idea that we may be entering an age of pandemics is really scary. My mother and myself both suffer from pre-existing health conditions that leave us with low immunity and at high risk for these viruses. While I do not want to live in fear, the thought of many more pandemics feels pretty threatening. Being a young person in a pandemic feels especially conflicting and the thought of more in the near future is stressful. I have seen so many people I know out living their lives as if there isn’t a global pandemic right now. This is part of why this will likely continue to happen. As humans and a country living together, it is imperative that we all fight this together. We can possibly prevent future pandemic outbreaks from occurring, but I honestly cannot foresee that happening. At the beginning of the pandemic, most people were pretty compliant to the guidelines and precautions laid out. I felt as though as time went on and COVID-19 continued to spread, people began to become more laidback. I saw many begin to carry out activities as though there wasn’t a deadly virus going around. I think this is why we will probably see more pandemics continue to occur in the future. It was also scary to see the costs to help prevent future pandemics. I was fully unaware before reading this article of how much it would cost end the wild meat trade in China. It was even more shocking to read how much the damages of COVID-19 cost. I agreed with Vergano about the need to prepare for future pandemics. It is no secret that the United States was not well prepared to combat COVID-19. To prevent future pandemics and outbreaks of this magnitude as a society we will need to have more procedures and precautions in place and overall be better prepared. While many look forward to the end of COVID-19, it is likely this will not be the last pandemic we see.

  5. I had always believed that the coronavirus was a new illness that had suddenly emerged and spread worldwide. Little did I know that there have been coronavirus strains for several years that change every year like the flu virus. I had also always believed that the coronavirus was going to be the virus of my lifetime – the virus that came and went that I would tell my children about someday. However, this article has now alerted me to the fact that there will be more viruses like the coronavirus. According to Dr. Fauci and other epidemiologists, we are beginning an age of pandemics. While many of us have become well accustomed to living through COVID-19, would we be able to handle more quarantining, social distancing, and lockdowns if there are more viruses? Regardless of if we want to, it seems like we have to.

    Despite this outlook seeming hopeless, epidemiologists, like the ones mentioned in the BuzzFeedNews article, believe that outbreaks can be preventable with proper research and funding. With the coronavirus today, there are many issues regarding funding, including not but limited to funding for research, relief, and treatment. I believe that part of the reason for these issues is that we did not have any well thought out plan to follow in case of a situation like this one. If we did, many people who lost their lives due to the pandemic may still be alive. The catastrophe that would occur if we allow another pandemic to run its course and devastate human life would be unparalleled. We must begin to create new plans that are suited to reducing the spread of viruses so they do not become pandemics in the first place.

    I never stop to think about how pandemics come to be. While there was much speculation about how the COVID-19 virus originated, there are many ways that are mentioned in the article that could be the cause of future pandemics. Among various other reasons, I never knew that environmental degradation could result in a pandemic, let alone accelerate the rate of producing them worldwide. This emphasizes the enormous effect human beings have had on the world. The fact that we are one of the causes of new pandemics is something that everyone should work to avoid. Whether it is being more environmentally conscientious or donating money to environmental relief funds, I believe we can all do our part to slow down environmental degradation. If we do not, we will not be able to stop the acceleration of the creation of new pandemics.

  6. I most definitely agree with everyone in this post so far just about the fear that this article brought to me after reading it. During the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, I was able to see first hand the sheer panic that can set in with so much uncertainty as I currently work at Costco who remained open during this all. I remember coming into work at 9 AM and having lines out of the building spanning almost a mile with people filled with anxiety and stress. There were fights, there was stealing, and from an employee standpoint, we were all severely underprepared. It was a nervous time for me and my family since it felt like every day that we would turn on the news things would just be getting worse and worse. Now imagine all of that panic but happening over and over again every month. We would all be living in panic 24/7 and with the points that the article brought up this could be happening a lot more often.

    The article mentioned the all too typical protocol that has been employed every time our world has encountered an outbreak like this, “emergency declarations followed by spurts of funding has to transform into a broader change in how people live to forestall the illness, deaths, and havoc of these plagues.” However, the only way that we can enact real change is by being proactive with all of our policies. Whether it is a mass planting of trees, developing affordable spaced out housing for individuals, or harsher penalties for poaching, our society has to develop more appropriate procedures, or else we may end up losing the place we call home.

    Finally, I’ll end with this. My family has a family friend who currently works as an ER doctor and he has been the one giving us a lot of our information in regards to what the future may hold. With flu season coming around the corner and the ever-present threat that in the blink of an eye another mass pandemic could be upon us, the worst could be yet to come. All we can do as individuals is maintain our distance and remain true to the procedures that have helped to protect us through this. We have to push to make our society proactive not reactive because if we don’t then we could be stuck in a rut of constant fear and that is no way to leave.

  7. An “age of pandemics” is a very horrendous scenario to imagine. Not only is the coronavirus significantly affecting society to the point where the norm is being notably shifted, but also, other diseases are immerging that may hurdle everyone toward a metaphorical brick wall. In only the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic, the United States has seen nearly 200,000 deaths, and the number continues to rise. Many groups of people continue to dismiss the virus, not wear masks, meet in large groups, and therefore put themselves and others into harm’s way. At the foundation of the issue, it is not as much about whether or not it is a person’s constitutional right to not have to wear a mask in public; the issue is whether or not people have the sense and the courtesy to others to reduce the risk of getting themselves sick and getting sick those which whom they come in contact. For a sizeable fraction of the population, the risk is not only getting sick, but it is also death.
    Doctor Fauci and Doctor Morens mention in the article that the acceleration of the rate of occurring pandemics is “’driven largely by deforestation, urban crowding, and wet markets for wild game, which will make increasing environmental degradation worldwide in this century,’ the key determinant of disease emergence.” The arising pandemics are a result of many correlating occurrences caused by people not taking care of the Earth. Forests, which are the habitats for countless species of animals and plants, are being ravaged for materials to produce consumer goods and commodities. Homeless animals, which have been exposed for centuries or millennia to the diseases which people are susceptible to, have now begun to come into contact with more humans; the animals spread diseases which people have not been in contact with. These diseases also seep their way into the food market, as people hunt these animals and then sell them to others to eat. Currently, culture is built around a system which is not sustainable for the Earth, and thus is no longer sustainable for ourselves.
    The article is closed with Doctor Fauci and Doctor Morens calling for humanity to live “in more thoughtful and creative harmony with nature.” Currently, there is not a message that I would consider to be more important for people to understand. Humanity should not have been attempting to battle and conquer nature; nature seems to always win. People should instead live alongside nature and carefully nurture the plants and animals that are needed for the environment to thrive. If people can manage to work together to grow, develop, live alongside nature, and consider nature equal to ourselves, then humanity would at least be able to worry significantly less about pandemics being conceived as consequences to our own poor actions.

  8. I am not going to lie this article put a different type of fear in me. Right off the bat the article brought up how there are many viruses going around the world that could create a pandemic to occur. Some of the viruses brought up in the article I have heard of but did not believe that they were still an issue because people stopped talking about it in the news. This is a prime example of how when there is a world issue it becomes the hot topic until the next best thing comes around. During COVID-19 I have created a sense of fear that the government has put on me. Not only is it impressive that the government embedded this fear in society to go out, but it is a real problem. Pandemics put a strain on societies economic status along with creating people to develop into becoming the new norm. It is surprising that the new norm is including pandemics and the fear behind it because if you would have told me 10 years ago I would have been wearing a mask to protect me and others I would have laughed. In the article they emphasize on how other viruses are just as big of a deal because they can lead to the future pandemics to arise. I wonder if this is going to have effect on people that are “anti- vac” because if more pandemics happen then I can predict that more vaccines will come out to help prevent getting these dieses.
    I think the article showed that the US has an issue with not only following the protocols but with handling environmental issues. Dr. Fauci says that he believes so many viruses are coming out because of how the environment has been. If you think about it more hurricanes, longer winters, more wildfires are happening across the world and this has to do with environmental shifts. If as a society, we can limit this than the factors of pandemics happening can lower. Overall, I believe that this article put to light on how there is a future of more pandemics if we do not do the necessary precautions to prevent them. The environment from forests to animals is having an issue and in a sense, they are the root of the problem. As a society we have to start controlling the little things, so pandemics are not as extreme as they have become.

  9. This article does not worry me any more than I have been over the last five years – because I have been consistently worried that more epidemics and pandemics would emerge throughout my lifetime. Having read about the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s, I’ve always lacked faith in government institutions to appropriately address public health crises. There was a glimmer of hope in 2014 when the spread of the deadly Ebola virus was mostly contained to Africa. Sadly, the pandemic of COVID-19 has grown rapidly due to asymptomatic spread. Though nearly every country on Earth is dealing with the ramifications of coronavirus, some nations have managed a superior response to the pandemic compared to the United States. For example, countries like South Korea, New Zealand, and Canada have managed to contain the virus. What exactly makes their responses different from ours?

    On one level, there is the efficacy of the government’s response. Countries like South Korea and New Zealand have a unified government, and its people are not as divided along ideological lines. In the United States, people are deeply divided along party/political lines and don’t trust media figures or politicians from the “other side.” In our case, the United States is fighting an information war on two fronts.

    On one end, we have a federal government that refuses to take accountability for what is objectively one of the worst responses to COVID-19 in terms of deaths and cases. Instead of leading a bipartisan response and giving the American people clear information, the White House and the federal bureaucracy has engaged in divisive rhetoric on a host of issues and even refused to follow its own mask and social-distancing guidelines.

    On the other hand, we also have an opposition movement that is exacerbating tensions and sowing further distrust in democratic institutions. Though a great deal of the anger is justified, it is important to divorce unrelated social issues from those concerning public health during this crisis. It is understandable to question the ethics and honesty of politicians, but it is also important to parse the truth regardless of party affiliation. For example, suppose I publicly say “Everything ‘Senator X’ says is a lie.” Even if Senator X lies often, this action only impedes people’s ability to parse kernels of important truth from their numerous lies.

    In addition to political quandaries, the United States has a significant cultural gap to overcome before we can adequately address a public health crisis. Since 1776, Americans have proudly participated in a healthy distrust of big government. However, this level of distrust has grown to the level of paranoid conspiracy on a massive scale. Most recently, an online group with millions of members called QAnon has spread numerous conspiracy theories ranging from dead Kennedy’s to elite sex trafficking rings. QAnon has also managed to spread misinformation about coronavirus, claiming COVID-19 was manufactured by China and the “deep state” to deprive Americans of their liberty. This is where the bulk of “anti-mask” and “PLANdemic” attitudes originated.

    For further background on where America went wrong with its COVID-19 Response, check out this link:
    https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2020/09/coronavirus-american-failure/614191/

    Another important factor to consider is the impact of climate change upon this “age of pandemics” that may be upon us. In addition to all of the risks for new infectious diseases, we also need to worry about the reemergence of pre-historic viruses. This is because global warming is beginning to melt the “permafrost” in the Arctic region. Scientists have discovered that pre-historic bacteria and germs are frozen within the permafrost, and they may have already emerged from permafrost that has melted. For example, a 12 year old boy contracted anthrax spores in the Arctic circle and died from complications in 2016. Scientists attributed the fungal infection to an infected deer that was thawed out from under the permafrost. While it is scary to think about the inevitability of novel viruses and pandemics in the future, it is important for countries around the world to begin listening to the advice of scientists and base their approaches to governance upon facts and evidence.

    http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20170504-there-are-diseases-hidden-in-ice-and-they-are-waking-up

  10. After reading this article from Buzz Feed, this is honestly a very terrifying idea and possibility. It is very alarming that not only are we currently in a pandemic that has taken over the whole world and how we live, but that there very well could be even more viruses or diseases that could cause the same effect for years to come. Also, the fact that it could be an “era” is also very scary. I remember when the Coronavirus pandemic was just starting to emerge in early March, people were expecting the quarantine to last a few weeks at most. And when those few weeks passed, people said it would only be another month or so. And after seven months, it seems that we do not even see when the end of this could come. That is what is most scary about these times. Especially if there was an “era” of pandemics, that could last years. The article states that “These diseases increasingly either reemerge from older menaces, such as West Nile virus or antibiotic-resistant bacteria, or jump from wild animals to people, most notably with the deadly coronaviruses, SARS, MERS, and now SARS-CoV-2.” Not only is there a chance that we could go through an “age of pandemics”, but now these new infections could mainly start from animals. On of the huge responsibilities that us humans have is to tread with caution and to be smart when it comes to the safety of the world. We have taken huge precautions with the wearing masks and the social distancing rules, but it is truly scary when these diseases can come from animals, which would be a much harder infection to control.

    There is not one answer to fixing this problem. There are many different strategies and ways of doing it and being cautious is the biggest one. It has been amazing to see how many people have refused to wear masks or social distance, because of personal pride and arrogance. A good example would connect to college students like us, who have across the country, ignored these rules. There have been large spikes in cases at universities since school started this semester, and many universities have had to shut down due to the irresponsibility of these young adults. We have a huge responsibility in these troubling times to stay safe, and to ensure the future is safe, and we must do everything in our power to make sure that happens.

  11. Reading this article was both terrifying and eye-opening, and it is exactly the message that needs to be comprehended by the entire world. Many people are living in a state of fear due to the lack of response by humanity to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the main goal of this article was to convey that we can no longer respond to diseases outbreaking in our world. We need to transform our lifestyles to prevent those diseases from taking over our world. A disease is not like a small cut that can be healed by a band aid. If the world keeps treating it like this, then humanity will be merely coexisting with diseases until the end of time instead of completely eradicating them. What is needed is a worldwide effort and commitment to uphold new regulations being put into place by government agencies in order to exit the “pandemic era” scientists are warning of. Dr. Tedros states this best in his tweet saying, “The best was to end this pandemic is through solidarity, through cooperation…The only option we have is to move together.”

    The upsetting issue is that most of humanity already seems to be growing numb to the fact that a deadly pandemic is still raging through our world. If humanity cannot take the current events of the world seriously, there is no way we will be able to prevent any future outbreaks of diseases. We merely cannot shut down the entirety of the wild meat trade markets in China. There is no answer to how to slow the rates of environmental degradation. And there is no full recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The only way we can begin to repair our world is through the harmonious acts of humanity with a motivation to never be afflicted by diseases again. The concluding question is, “Where do we start?” It is clear that no one single person has the answer to that question. However, as a united world, humanity has the power to act on that question and begin taking the steps necessary to prevent the devastating outbreaks of future diseases.

  12. Reading this article, made me a little more humble about pandemics, and how really dangerous they can be. The Covid-19 pandemic was a huge loss for the U.S because many people had to put their lives at risk for either their family or other people. For example essential workers had to work while being in mid pandemic and they still did everything they could for us, and we cannot thank them enough. One thing the article made specific was that we can stop another pandemic of happening If we take the right steps and take better care of ourselves. We will never get over this pandemic if we don’t follow the rules, and keep being hardheaded. For example, it shouldn’t take us a pandemic to happen to wash our hands more or keep more clean. We should’ve been doing that and maybe we avoid Covid. Us moving together and always doing the right things as one , as united as we are we have to stop the spread and it starts with the little things first. We can only move forward if we take better responsibilities of not only ourselves but our loved ones around us. Also since we don’t have a vaccine for Covid how do we stop the spread? More and more have opened up so we do have to play our part, in taking care of our small businesses and our big businesses as well because at the end of the day, we don’t know if a second wave can hit and we get ruined again and have to be in quarantine for who knows how long. That wouldn’t be a good start to 2021 because it would most likely lead to that and it isn’t the way we would want to be. it feels like as if we were trapped, so if we don’t want to feel that way it starts with is. Cleaning our hands, cleaning common touched surfaces, and always keeping social distancing and always have your mask everywhere you go. People think that since covid slowed down and rates dropped that covid is over. NO, that is how a second wave comes around, and we lost many people to it, and the worst is over as of now, so let’s keep it that ways and have everyone stay safe, and stay healthy.

  13. The thought the we can have a “pandemic era” is crazy and terrifying to think about. With all the lives that have been lost from this singular pandemic, the outcomes of multiple more in succession of this one and one another are endless. With what experts are saying about both the present and the future, I wish we as a population would take more accountability of our actions to be able to change the future that we are currently looking at. I think this article, scary as it may be to think about, should be a required reading so that people can realize the long term affects of everything they do on a daily basis as well as everything that goes on around the world without precaution. In the article, scientists Fauci and Morens have talked about the way previous pandemics were dealt with, with the responses to each outbreak being emergency declarations and increased funding. They argue that this cannot be the case going forward. Fauci and Morens claim that a “broader change in how people live to forestall the illness, deaths, and havoc of these plagues” needs to occur in order to prevent further, more serious pandemics. Morens noted the increase in Ebola outbreaks in recent years, and came to the conclusion that this was more than a coincidence. If the increase in pandemics can be prevented, I think it is the duty of not only every government, but every single individual to ensure that they are doing the most that they can to change their lifestyles for the better and prevent any more potential pandemics. One science lab estimated that “the cost of ending the wild meat trade in China to be $19.4 billion and the limited human exposure to virus-laden wildlife at less than $12 billion, compared to the estimated minimum $5 trillion in damages from the COVID-19 pandemic.” The monetary cost to preventing new pandemics seems quite clear: you’ll lose money in an effort to prevent a pandemic, but it’ll only be a fraction of what it would cost if the pandemic were to actually surface. Not to mention, you cannot put a price on the lives that would be saved by stopping the “pandemic era.”

  14. This article is something I never thought that I would be reading. To know that we have entered a time of recurring pandemics doesn’t make me feel at all good about the future and what is to come of it. Covid-19 has already caused so many people to die, I stand in terror because of the thought that more pandemics will be here soon. The pandemic has completely changed the way we live our lives and people are antsy to get back to their normal everyday lives. I have a feeling that the outcome of a second pandemic might be much worse because people really don’t want to quarantine or wear masks because they are uneducated on the virus. Some people to date still think the corona virus was synthesized in a lab or that it is entirely fake. Dr. Fauci says that we need to completely change our lives even more severely to try to circumvent any more viruses from spreading as far and as fast as the corona virus did. More people need to read articles, to hear things like this, “They include ones that cause “killer colds,” mosquito-borne illnesses, polio-related paralytics, and the flu, where a “bird” flu jumping from poultry in China had been the expected next pandemic among infectious disease experts for the last decade”(buzzfeed).These are the various diseases that have pandemic potential, and that is horrifying to think about. The fact that we live in a world where once one person gets sick, the whole world could end up collapsing under the power of the virus. Some people want to disregard this fact and they choose to live their lives as if the world hasn’t already seen hundreds of thousands of deaths due to covid-19. These are the people keeping this virus alive, as they pass it around while they continue to do their activities unmasked and not conforming to social distancing. It really confuses me, and that is why these people need to read an article like this and be humble that they are still alive unlike all of the fatalities we have seen in 2020. People are worried about economic losses more than the loss of human life and this is another reason why this pandemic is dragging on especially long here in the United States because everyone here is money and success obsessed and they need to change their attitude about this whole situation.

  15. This new era of pandemics is truly terrifying. If you analyze the map provided in the article you can depict that the diseases are either “newly emerging, re-emerging or deliberately emerging.” One can clearly see there are over 20 new or resurfacing diseases that have the ability to be as detrimental as the one we are expierecing in today’s society.
    However, I am even more concerned with the single black dot, defined as “deliberately emerging” on the map provided in the article. This truly concerns me for several reasons:
    1. The only black dot is located on the United states map.
    2. The disease linked to this dot is “Anthrax Bioterrorism.” The CDC defines bioterrorism as, “the intentional release of viruses, bacteria, or other germs that can sicken or kill people, livestock, or crops.”
    3. Anthrax bioterrorism is also being deliberately emerged within the US.

    These reasons concern me because if they are capable of deliberately releasing a disease that is capable of killing people, livestock, and crops what else should we expect as a society? Are we ever going to be safe again?

    In the article, they mention that these diseases aren’t avoidable but they are preventable which means that everyone would have to do their part in making the disease reduce or go away. However, since COVID-19 took over the world, we haven’t seen collaboration amongst citizens, especially in the US. Therefore, causing concern and terror for myself. In order for diseases to be prevented, we would have to collaborate with one another and do our part for example, wearing masks, social distancing and testing. However, the US seems to struggle with this concept which leads me to believe that COVID- 19 will never end until we are given a vaccine and even then we don’t know what the future will hold after the vaccines are given.

  16. Dan Vergano’s article is one that is incredibly alarming in the year of 2020 because we have seen the COVID-19 pandemic take over the year. The COVID-19 outbreak affected everyone greatly. Even the people who did not extract the virus have had to adopt a new way of living.
    Doctor Anthony Fauci’s warning about entering a new age of pandemics is something that we should all listen to and all of these problems that we are about to face are stemmed from our mistreatment of the environment through “deforestation, urban crowding, and wild game markets”. Deforestation is a problem that we have known to have negative effects with the extra greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere, climate change, and has negatively affected animal life on earth. Negative effects of deforestation can be read about here. It is time to change. If this is not enough information to alter the way people think about treating the world that we live in, then what more could people want. Another equally sized issue, is how we live. As pointed out in the article, 26 million people worldwide have gotten COVID-19 and around 900,000 have died of the virus. According to the CDC, the United states alone accounts for about 200,000 of these deaths. As we know, COVID- 19 greatly effects the elderly and the people with underlying conditions. Of the people who die due to COVID-19 the CDC estimates 75% have underlying issues. The two most common issues were cardiovascular issues and diabetes. Let us take a step back, the CDC says 40% of American adults are obese. Obesity has a direct correlation between diabetes (here), one of the most common health issues found in those who die of COVID-19. COVID-19 would not be as big of a problem as it is if people were generally healthier. People need to change their lifestyle, especially in the United States. With 40% of American adults being obese, that should be the bigger issue that should be addressed. This should be viewed as a wake-up call to everyone. I believe people are looking in the wrong direction as to why the pandemic has affected the world so badly and particularly the United States. It starts with the people. Everyone reading this post can name someone they know is on 5+ medications. Why and for what? All of these health conditions that stem from not feeding your body properly and exercising to live a healthier lifestyle. Leading a healthier lifestyle will keep people safe from COVID-19 and these future pandemics. Eating healthy, doing cardio, and lift a little bit of weight for your prevention of the severity of COVID-19 and the pandemics to come.

    Source about deforestation: https://www.pachamama.org/effects-of-deforestation#:~:text=The%20loss%20of%20trees%20and,of%20problems%20for%20indigenous%20people.
    Source for COVID deaths- https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#cases_totalcases
    Source for obesity- https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/obesity-overweight.htm
    Source for correlation between obesity and diabetes-
    Source for correlation between obesity and diabetes- https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21128002/

  17. The outbreak of COVID-19 took most countries and businesses by surprise, changing the daily lives of almost every individual. Work and school quickly transitioned from in-person experiences to virtual within the span of a few weeks. Quarantines, mask mandates and social distancing orders were enacted across the United States, in hopes to lessen the transmission of the virus. Thus, most retailers and restaurants closed while individuals stayed home, which resulted in businesses suffering dramatic financial hardships and experiencing delays in products and services to their customers. In turn, unemployment rates reached an all-time high, with sole breadwinners in households also facing financial difficulties, struggling to maintain a sustainable income to provide for their families. These conditions continue to impact the economy of the United States, as more Americans enroll in unemployment each month. Healthcare facilities and practices have also been impacted, as they have seen surges in admitted patients that have exceeded the capacities of the hospitals; these conditions have been endured all while receiving insufficient supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) to treat those infected with the virus.

    As the country slowly recovers and reopens with in-person dining, shopping, and work, individuals are still required to wear masks and abide social distancing guidelines. However, as Americans hope to soon return to a sense of normalcy, Dr. Anthony Fauci has a different perspective for the future, claiming humanity has “entered a pandemic era,” with additional infectious diseases to spread worldwide. He further explains due to increasing environmental degradation such as deforestation, urban crowding and wet markets, additional diseases will emerge and with greater strength. While one can remain positive COVID-19 will be the last of global pandemics, the information presented by Dr. Fauci, an educated and trusted medical professional, has been scientifically proven among extensive studies and should be considered by national leaders in order to prevent similar situations from occurring in the future.

    Emerging disease expert, Nikos Vasilakis, of the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, agreed with Dr. Fauci on the increasing trend of pandemics. However, he also added, “I don’t think it is avoidable. But it is preventable.” This statement holds truth, as countries and governments have all endured the impact of COVID-19; they have implemented new initiatives and procedures to not only reduce the transmission of the virus, but to prevent relapses or similar diseases from rapidly spreading. However, even with these preventatives, nations are still exposing themselves to future diseases through their environmental impacts as stated by Dr. Fauci. Even if countries who are large contributors to poor environmental conditions improve, it is impossible to reduce these impacts so minimal they no longer affect the overall population. Thus, we can prevent these predicted diseases from spreading as rapidly and as deadly as COVID-19, but these diseases will not be completely eliminated. Regardless, it is imperative countries who are lead polluters are held accountable for their actions and required to reduce their environmental impact for the current generation and generations to come. If the world continues to function as it does currently, the world will not only be facing numerous pandemics, but more rapidly than ever expected.

  18. This is one of the scariest articles that I have recently read. The article starts off somewhat disturbingly as it is a quote from Dr. Fauci saying humanity has “entered a pandemic era”. The fact that it can get worse than COVID is very scary and should be a rude awakening for the entire world. People still think that COVID is not real, I wonder how these people will react to hearing the magnitude of this article. COVID has already singlehandedly brought the world to its knees and made us beg for mercy. I personally, do not know what I would do if we entered an apocalyptic era of diseases. COVID has already affected 26 million people and killed over 850,000 people in less than a year. Which is absolutely insane, and the fact that this is only the beginning is extremely frightening.
    Another scary part of the article is when Dr. Fauci and his team say that most of the diseases will stem from human made problems such as: deforestation, urban crowding, and wet markets for wild game. Thus, which will increase the environmental degradation worldwide. As a population, we need to accept and understand that the world will never be the same after COVID, and we also need to understand that COVID is not the end of pandemics coming to us. Hopefully COVID opened the world’s eyes wide enough, that we are fully prepared for another potential pandemic. Emerging disease expert, Nikos Vasilakis, from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, agreed with Dr. Fauci on the future of pandemics. He said, “I don’t think it is avoidable. But it is preventable.” Which should be how the world should be thinking as this is merely the beginning of a potentially catastrophic era if what Dr. Fauci and his colleagues are saying is true. It also shows that everyone is going to have to play their part in reducing the impact of these future pandemics. I personally think that if these pandemics do come, humanity will be tested, but I think we have the power and technology to get through it.

  19. This article about pandemics is definitely scary, but it is just a warning. I believe the current Coronavirus pandemic is a wakeup call for the world and mostly the United States. A lot of the world has adjusted easier and more quickly than the United States has. Since the United States is so big and divided because of the many states it was almost harder for everyone to get together and be united on a front against the virus. There are many different divisions about the virus in the country. There are some who believe that the virus won’t hurt them and that they feel that they are invincible in some way. This opinion is popular among many young people because the virus has been known to be more deadly to older people, but that doesn’t mean that young and healthy people can’t die or be seriously affected by this virus. There are others who don’t even believe that it’s real and that all of us are being lied to. My main argument for this one is that why are other countries having more success defending the virus, it’s because those people are listening to what their governments have to say and they are just doing what they are told. They are making the necessary sacrifices to be safe and protect each other. Some people just don’t want to wear masks and adjust to the way that much of society has. Those people claim that wearing masks is against our rights as citizens, but the reason that people need to wear masks is to protect the people around them. People don’t need to wear masks 24/7 either. They need to wear them when they are around others like when going to get groceries or other things at stores. The masks aren’t about rights, they are about protecting people around you, especially if those people are older or had previous conditions. If there really are other pandemics or viruses coming then the many people in the United States really should be woken up about their daily routines and cleaning protocols. There is a new wave of health and safety protocols coming due to this virus and everyone really needs to come together and understand that life really won’t be the same and just accept that.

  20. COVID-19, the talk of the year and probably for a while by the looks of it and this article. I actually am not surprised that the corona virus pandemic is basically just the beginning of what is to come or come again. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has given Americans several rules to prevent the spread therefore leading to fewer and fewer deaths. Just the basics social distance (a minimum of 6 between you and the nearest person), always wear a mask, covering both your mouth and nose. There are certain people all around the world who do not see the importance of wearing a mask or wearing a mask the right way. Each country is very different, but most adhere to the six feet rule and wearing a mask. Then each state is handling the situation differently. For example, here in New Jersey our governor is slowly opening public places this month such as the gyms, indoor dining, movie theaters. Back when Ebola was around it wasn’t as severe as corona. People were still walking around regularly; international flights were still available. The deaths that corona had showed the severity of how concerning this disease is. Just when people heard of the hornets they started panicking again because now everyone is on high alert and they are all trying their best to take care of themselves in any way shape or form. Of course, slowly but surely, we are getting back to a more normal life, just with a mask on otherwise everything else is basically the same. Of course, this article is telling us things can get worse before they can get better. Corona was just the start. More diseases such as E. coli, Lyme disease, West Nile Virus, Measles, Hepatitis C is something in us Americans alone should prepare for in the future. With the same precautions we use now the country should be able to condone it, so we are exposed to these as little as possible. Just like the tweet used in the article, cooperation and working together as one world is the only way we can fight this and overcome this.

  21. COVID-19, the talk of the year and probably for a while by the looks of it and this article. I actually am not surprised that the corona virus pandemic is basically just the beginning of what is to come or come again. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has given Americans several rules to prevent the spread therefore leading to fewer and fewer deaths. Just the basics social distance (a minimum of 6 between you and the nearest person), always wear a mask, covering both your mouth and nose. There are certain people all around the world who do not see the importance of wearing a mask or wearing a mask the right way. Each country is very different, but most adhere to the six feet rule and wearing a mask. Then each state is handling the situation differently. For example, here in New Jersey our governor is slowly opening public places this month such as the gyms, indoor dining, movie theaters. Back when Ebola was around it wasn’t as severe as corona. People were still walking around regularly; international flights were still available. The deaths that corona had showed the severity of how concerning this disease is. Just when people heard of the hornets they started panicking again because now everyone is on high alert and they are all trying their best to take care of themselves in any way shape or form. Of course, slowly but surely, we are getting back to a more normal life, just with a mask on otherwise everything else is basically the same. Of course, this article is telling us things can get worse before they can get better. Corona was just the start. More diseases such as E. coli, Lyme disease, West Nile Virus, Measles, Hepatitis C is something in us Americans alone should prepare for in the future. With the same precautions we use now the country should be able to condone it, so we are exposed to these as little as possible. Just like the tweet used in the article, cooperation and working together as one world is the only way we can fight this and overcome this.

  22. I remember when quarantine was first called into effect, my family and I would talk about how different life is now. Compared to life before COVID-19, obviously a lot has changed. Simply luxuries such as watching a new movie in cinema or going out to eat dinner in a restaurant were gone, and we’ve all seemly adopted a bubble lifestyle. We thought that even after COVID-19 is under control, or at least controlled enough for us to revert back to normalcy, it will be nothing like life was prior to pandemic as we now have this newfound fear of disease. Especially after reading that pandemics are more likely to happen in future, it is clear that the world will now see many changes. In person interaction will definitely decrease and the digitization of nearly aspect of our lives will continue. Not just because people will fear for lives or prioritize their health – I do not believe most people are smart enough to worry about that – but also because we all have gotten used that life. Instead of leaving the house to pick up food, more people will rely on systems such as Door Dash or UberEATS to get that food. Groceries can now be ordered through an app on a phone and delivered to that person’s front door mere hours later. Although it was very popular before the pandemic, Amazon has become the world’s multiple-purpose, mega-department store, allowing anyone to order anything from anywhere. Even work and school will never be the same. People are starting to realize that most desk jobs can be done at home, granted they do their work, and there is no need to leave home and drive to the office, using up time and money doing so. Classes can be carried out online, although I believe it is much more effective and important for it to be in person particularly for the grades prior to college. So, while health issues and pandemic concerns are now prioritized, the effects will be seen in all aspects of life, and it will eventually be the new normal. I mean it has been 7 months since the beginning of quarantine, and as much as I dislike it, I feel as though I have grown accustomed to this life. It is depressing but it is the world we live in now, and I do not suspect it to revert any time soon.

  23. Reading that humanity could possibly be entering a “pandemic era,” is alarming by all means. Could the new “normal” mean grabbing a mask before leaving the house to go anywhere for the rest of our lives? America has been in quarantine for seven months or so, and the rates may have gone down in certain areas, but many others continue to rise.
    My hometown, Huntsville, TX, is within the top 10 cities with the highest daily averages of new COVID-19 cases. The shift from moving from Texas to New Jersey was different. In Texas, people do not follow rules. Bars opened, people were partying, and institutions continued to hold in-person classes, even though everyone knew there was a risk. Going to school at Rider University is especially different for student-athletes like myself. Our practices are limited to 25% of our team, therefore, a team with 20 people is only allowed to hold practices with 5 athletes at a time. The pandemic is limiting to the activities people want to participant in, but we will not be able to do these things until everyone starts following the rules and the virus gets under control.
    The map showed new and old viruses that have the chance of turning into another pandemic, and I did not know there were so many diseases that keep evolving to the medications humans keep creating to prevent and kill them. Viruses that hold the power to turn into a pandemic seem to be coming from wild animals. Everything comes back to the environment. The deforestation of animal habitats is bringing wild animals into contact with humans. These animals can carry diseases and live normal lives with them because they have adapted. Humans that have never come into contact with these diseases do not have the antibodies to fight back and people with weak immune systems will die. Nature will continue to fight back with civilization until humans decide to limit their effects on the environment.

  24. While I have never been the most vigilant in making sure my sources that I read the news from are always trustworthy, I have made a personal not to never trust or read anything affiliated with Buzzfeed. There are many websites who are devoted to click bait, and Buzzfeed wrote the rule book on this, but as a result myself and a sizable portion believe Buzzfeed about as much as the current administration, which is to say not at all. The reason I am mentioning this is after reading the article on the future of pandemics for the world, I had many reasons not to trust this article going in, but after checking the sources personally and doing more than a surface level read I can safely say that Buzzfeed may have written their first actual article. It goes into detail about how due to many different negative environmental changes brought about by humans, the potential for future pandemics has been greatly exasperated. I also knew this from my own readings, as I am a big fan of the book The Hot Zone. This novel is a non fiction story centered around the 1989 outbreak of the Marburg Virus that was swiftly contained by the United States army. Besides being a fantastic read that I would recommend to anyone into this topic, it also introduced me to the idea of man intruding on nature. In this book, it discusses how this virus’s likely origins was a cave in Africa that was disturbed by man. This origin has striking similarities, both to the now world wide COVID-19 virus and to the warnings that Dr. Fauci and others made about potential future pandemics. By far the biggest way to combat these threats has to be a multi faceted approach. For example, if all the world does is shut down wet markets, then the threat posed by urban crowding or deforestation by pandemics goes unaddressed. It would have to be an united front against these “hot zones,” if you will, to properly go about preventing the next world wide pandemic. As for my own idea on how to stop it, I would try to make masks a common item, if not an enforced one, because it would then drastically prevent not only the current COVID-19 virus but other airborne strains of other diseases as well. Unfortunately, for any of these programs to take effect, the world would have to agree on something for once. So, when the next pandemic inevitably roles around, I can almost guarantee that no lessons will be learned from this one.

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