As of today, COVID-19 has infected more than 3 million people and killed at least 210,000 worldwide.
Those are big numbers, considering the fact that six short months ago, few members of the general public had ever heard of the coronavirus. And almost no one was harboring fears of a looming and deadly global pandemic.
But here we are. As our new reality sinks in, as we adjust to lockdowns and home schooling and long lines at grocery stores, as we look for ways to protect ourselves and our families—and as some grieve for lost loved ones—most of us are also seeking answers.
Why does this virus cause so many mysterious symptoms? Why are some cases mild, others deadly? How can we protect ourselves? Whose advice should we follow?
But the biggest questions of all are these: Where did COVID-19 come from? And how can we prevent this from ever happening again?
The answers to these questions may be too disturbing to ponder, especially while we’re still grappling with the impact of the virus on nearly every aspect of our lives.
But our failure to investigate, and directly address, the origins of COVID-19 almost certainly guarantees our failure to protect ourselves from future, possibly even more deadly, pandemics.