The first day of lockdown on the Rive Droite during the Covid-19 outbreak


© Antoine d’Agata / Magnum Photos


On 11 March 2020, three months after the first reports of a pneumonia outbreak in Wuhan, the WHO declared pandemic status. The cause turned out to be a new coronavirus, now known as SARS-CoV-2. Cities emptied as a result of measures such as lockdowns adopted to contain the spread of the Covid-19 disease, while uncertainty about the future prevailed.
The only truly effective responses to end the pandemic will come from actions taken on a global scale, such as collaboration within the international scientific community and widespread distribution of drugs, in particular the vaccine when available. It was impossible to predict when and how the pandemic would break out and this is also true of future outbreaks. But there are some important risk factors we can act on, such as contact with animal reservoirs, which mutate like living beings and can also pass infections to man.
Just like the insidious SARS-CoV-2, climate change is also invisible to the naked eye and requires responses on a global scale. It is the indirect cause of a series of adverse effects, such as extreme climate events and extinctions, but it is impossible to predict them precisely. Hopefully our direct experience of the real effects of the Covid-19 pandemic will teach us not only not to underestimate the risk of the next and possibly even more devastating pandemics, but also to perceive the urgency of the measures needed to combat global warming.

Elena Sofia Grazian