The Extinction Chronicles

Over a year before COVID-19 was first detected, biologists at the University of Warsaw published “Bats, Coronaviruses, and Deforestation,” a paper that links the rapid destruction of the natural habitats of bats to the spread of coronaviruses such as SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV.

Published in April 2018, the article describes how the homes of bats in the rainforests of Southeast Asia have been reduced by 50 percent over the last 70 years, putting the disease-carrying animals in closer contact with humans than ever before. It then details that 31 percent of the viruses that bats are capable of carrying are…

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