Now that the Covid 19 corona virus outbreak has been declared a pandemic, stock markets are plummeting around the world, pro sports stadiums are closing their doors and face masks are proliferating in the streets, I think it’s time for a bit of a reality check.
Look at these current estimated wild world populations of some other large animals sharing this planet with us:
Lions – 25,000
Tigers – 5,000
Gorillas – 100,000 (but only 880 mountain gorillas)
Chimpanzees – 250,000
Giraffes – 80,000
Orangutans – 50,000
Rhinos (all species) – 28,000
Wolves (all species) – 200,000
Polar bears – 28,000
Black Bears – 600,000
Brown Bears – 250,000 (including grizzly bears)
Giant Pandas – 1,600
Blue Whales – 15,000
Killer Whales (Orcas) – 50,000
Humpback Whales – 30,000
Bald Eagles – 70,000
Add them all together and you have about 1.8 million animals, one medium-sized human city in today’s world.
Next, here is the current approximate population of all humans in the world:
That is, there are 7.3 thousand million of us (7.3 billion), and this is only temporary since our numbers are growing rapidly, whereas the numbers of most of the above animals are falling.
When we fought World War II less than a century ago, a war caused by population pressures, we were only 2 billion.
Humanity is the least endangered large species on the planet. Those species that are endangered, and there are many more than those above, are in that predicament because there are too many of us.
Although there are not even a million bears or wolves, we have decided that it is okay for us to hunt them.
Meanwhile, if we should take no precautions at all towards Covid 19, this virus would apparently reduce our numbers by more or less 3%. That’s about 220 million people. It wouldn’t even get us back below 7 billion.
Given that approx 360,000 people are born each day, while only 152,000 die, it is possible that the pandemic will not even reduce our population.
So what is all the fuss about?
I don’t mean that we shouldn’t be testing and quarantining ourselves. The likelihood of hospitals being overwhelmed is very real. But the sense of panic and the degree of over-reaction here hardly seems necessary.