Road to Recovery

Christen Commuso

By Christen Commuso

It is almost unfathomable that we have already entered into year two of the COVID-19 pandemic. Without question, this virus has taken an enormous toll on human life and the economies of the world. And, unfortunately, only exacerbated the disparities in access to education, healthcare, and healthy food, at home and abroad. While vaccines are rolling out quicker every day and it seems we may be turning a corner in the fight to stop the spread. It is clear we must confront these disparities and make bold changes to prevent future pandemics.

In a perfect world, the vaccine would be equally available and accessible to all people. To allow free, equitable access to every nation across the globe, rich or poor, the pharmaceutical companies must share their vaccine recipes and richer nations must stop hoarding them.

For more long-term solutions, we must not only confront our societal disparities but also our relationship with the natural world. According to the World Wildlife Fund, most new infectious diseases are zoonotic — meaning they come from animals — and disease spillovers occur when humans encroach and exploit our natural resources and wildlife. This happens through deforestation, land-conversion, concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO) aka factory farms, illegal animal trade, and more. If we do not acknowledge our role and connection to the environment, then we will only continue down this path of destruction and despair. We must remember that we are not separate from nature, we are intertwined and reliant upon each other. 

The road to recovery will be long, but not impossible. We cannot successfully address global problems without creating global solutions and it starts with you, at home. Lucky for us, Missouri Coalition for the Environment (MCE) has made getting involved and taking action easy. Whether it’s contacting your local legislators, protecting our waterways, or getting to know your farmer, MCE has a place for you to plug-in. On this Earth Day and every day, we must work towards repairing and rebuilding our friendship with each other and the environment.

To learn more and find your niche, head over to MCE’s website under the Get Involved tab now!