Safe forests, safe people: On diseases of animal origin

The rapid spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus across the world has focused attention on the seemingly invisible processes that help pathogens originally found in wild animals make the leap to humans. Diseases of animal origin such as Ebola, HIV, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, bird flu and swine flu have raised alarm over potential pandemics in recent years, and the COVID-19 pandemic has confirmed the worst fears of scientists. The contagion, thought to have originated in a wet market that kept live animals in Wuhan, China, points to many underlying factors: the destruction of forests and trapping or farming of wild species has brought these animals closer to humans, and the viruses they harbour find ready hosts in domestic animals, moving to humans. There is concern also about rising economic activity, such as road building and mining cutting through forests, bringing more people in close contact with animals. Another dimension is the global trade in

Break from tradition: On Wimbledon cancellation

A yellow ball glides past the net, the players grunt, the grass twitches and under azure blue skies, the applause from the stands ranges from the muted to the ecstatic. Wimbledon is tennis at its best, and it remains the sport’s holy grail, blending history and nostalgia with a massive global fan base. There are the other Grand Slam Opens — French, U.S. and Australian — but Wimbledon towers above all. Geographically fused to London, Wimbledon’s appeal is truly universal. It is a feel-good genie let loose every year during the British summer, while cricket provides an echo from Lord’s and other grounds across England. Last year, while Wimbledon uncorked its magic at The Championships as it is formally called, the cricket World Cup raced towards its climax. It was a sporting high and life was good. But since then, much water has flowed down the Thames and humankind is at another point, struggling to cope with the coronavirus pandemic that brooks no borders, weakening bodies and even
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Lead

Quarantine and the law

L.S. Sathiyamurthy
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Lead

Making the private sector care for public health

Rama V. Baru
 
Comment

Do OTT platforms provide more space for sociopolitical content?

No laughing matter

A.S. Panneerselvan

A little panic is useful if it saves lives

Suresh Menon

The language of grief

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Opinion

The COVID cycle

R. Shantaram
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Opinion

Campus capers: just for laughs and thrills

T.M. Vallikappen
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Opinion

Age is in the eye of the beholder

S.V. Raman