Zoonotic diseases and our troubled relationship with nature

William J. Ripple, Dominick A. DellaSala, Franz Baumann, Jillian Gregg, Matthew G. Betts, Beverly E. Law, Corey J. A. Bradshaw, Christopher Wolf

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

4 Citations (Scopus)


The coronavirus pandemic provides us with an opportunity to reassess and reboot our relationship with nature. Reducing the pressures on our planet’s life-giving ecosystems will help solve converging environmental crises as well as benefit public health and well-being. Rather than piecemeal solutions to the rising probability and magnitude of zoonotic disease outbreaks, runaway climate disruption, and mass biodiversity loss, we suggest systemic change in the way humanity functions and interacts with nature.

The staggering loss of human life and disruptions to everyday life from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic have caused immeasurable pain across the world as well as enormous financial losses. If and when the time comes that it is deemed safe to resume all our typical activities, the world will still be a markedly different place. To reduce the likelihood and impact of the next pandemic and other natural disasters, we need to address human, animal, and planetary health together. Immediate action is critical to solving these co-linked crises.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)382-385
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Health Promotion
Issue number2
Early online date19 Jan 2022
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022


  • COVID-19
  • Zoonoses
  • Ecosystems
  • Infectious disease


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