The mainstream media has given a great deal of coverage to the COVID-19 pandemic - as it should - but interwoven among the stories on poor vaccination rates, conspiracy theories, and the people ignoring quarantine, there is a consistent run of horror stories on the impact of lockdowns, often with a message that we must get back to the pre pandemic "normal" life. This is understandable, businesses are going broke, unemployment is rising, domestic violence and mental illness are increasing. It is an unpleasant situation, but returning to the old norm is not a solution. This, after all, was the lifestyle that created human movement into wilderness areas, bringing us into contact with pathogens that we have little resistance to combat.
While Covid is terrible, Ebola is far worse, as was the Black Death before antibiotics, and scientists warn that there are more diseases in the pipe line, either through contact with animals, or the mutations of existing ones. We have made pandemics more likely by concentrating humans in apartment towers, prisons, aged-care centres, and supermarkets. As well, we have simplified transmission, with fast transport systems that spread the virus rapidly around the globe, while human failures - denial, human rights issues - all assist in keeping the virus in circulation.