The Post COVID “New Normal” and the Wildlife Trade in Guatemala

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The Post COVID “New Normal” and the Wildlife Trade in Guatemala

The rapid spread of COVID-19 has created a global health and economic crisis that is testing every one of us. The whole world is going through uncertain times and as has happened before during a period of crisis it might well hit the poorest the hardest. 

It’s normal to be scared. Even the Stoics, the masters of their emotions, said that if things are out of control, we are going to have natural reactions. 

What matters however is, what will you do after your initial reaction? This is a very important question today in a world of unlimited fear inducing breaking news.

A scare is a temporary rush of a feeling. Being afraid is an ongoing state.

Being scared might even help you – it wakes you up, puts your body in motion to look for possibilities. So what actions can be taken once everything goes “back to normal”?

Julio Vincent Gambuto mentions in his article about the imminent ‘Gaslighting’, we should be aware of and think about what we really want to get back to normal. 

“They are problems we ignore every day, not because we’re terrible people or because we don’t care about fixing them, but because we don’t have time.”

He is begging everyone to think about what we really want to bring back to our lives and that we should use these difficult times for a global change.

This is our chance to define a new version of normal, a rare and truly sacred (yes, sacred) opportunity to get rid of the bullshit and to only bring back what works for us, what makes our lives richer, what makes our kids happier, what makes us truly proud.

news parrot in box

Some Facts:

The wildlife trade is a billion dollar industry that threatens the survival of many of the world’s endangered species. It is a growing criminal enterprise, and is undermining governments, rule of law and growth of local communities.

Millions of animals from tens of thousands of species are victims of the illegal wildlife trade each year. 

Never has it been more clear that the consumption of wildlife body parts and products is dangerous to public health and the global economy.

The good news is that we can drastically reduce or even eliminate the likelihood of future pandemics like COVID-19. But only if we stop the illegal trade and consumption of wildlife permanently. 

A wildlife market in Wuhan, China was the source of COVID 19 where the virus is said to have originated in wildlife, mutated and passed to humans, where it replicates itself.  The Chinese government has imposed a ban on wildlife trade and consumption, though wildlife in medicine and research is still permitted. Hopefully markets  will shut down permanently. 

This is not the first virus to infect people through wildlife consumption, SARS and MERS were transmitted in the same way. 

Trading in wildlife is not only life-threatening, the trade is also contributing to the loss of endangered species. It is not acceptable under any circumstances in any country. 

Given the threat of coronavirus and other pathogens transmitted from wildlife to people, this petition is asking the Guatemalan government to put a greater emphasis on stopping the illegal trade of wildlife.

author michaela weis

By Michaela

About the author
Originally from Salzburg, Austria Michaela finished her Masters in Communication Science in Vienna before moving to Central America.

Michaela has lived in Antigua, Guatemala for more than 7 years and during this time has been working in the non profit sector with different organizations in and around Antigua.