Bats are likely the source of the novel virus that has the world on pause. However, Phillip Elden says that people are to blame for the spread, not the bats.
According to Phillip Elden, bats tend to stay to themselves. They congregate in caves and dark spaces, usually only coming out as the sun sinks into the horizon. But human interference via habitat destruction along with a population that can’t seem to sit still has altered the way these animals behave.
These changes most likely led to exposure to a human, who, somewhere down the line, became susceptible to the virus. Phillip Elden says that because the human body has no natural immunity, it has spread faster than wildfire.
Where Did It Come From?
Phillip Elden says scientists still have no definitive answer to that question. But virus samples from Chinese horseshoe bats near Wuhan are almost a 97% match to the new virus. This information points to something just as alarming as the disease itself. That’s that we need to rethink the way that we interact with animals of all species.
A New Thought Process
Humans are at the top of the food chain, and that has given us an overinflated sense of safety when it comes to the animals we share the earth with.
Phillip Elden says that now is a great time to start thinking about ways that we can distance ourselves. He notes that one of the best ways to do that is by not encroaching into untouched land when we need more living space.
Part of the big picture problem is that people are moving closer and closer into the wild, and animals are losing their homelands. We need to think in terms of preservation for all, not just humans. That, Phillip Elden says, is the only way to lessen the chances of another pandemic of this kind in the future.