Global change increases zoonotic risk, COVID-19 changes risk perceptions: a plea for urban nature connectedness
Ebola and COVID-19 are textbook emerging diseases influenced by humans. Ebola is often considered a result of exotic nature threatening health. Conversely, COVID-19, emerged in an urban environment, entails risks worldwide. Geographical, virological and demographic differences influence risk perceptions and responses to both diseases. Because ecological understanding of urban human-animal relations improves disease risk assessment, we call for ethnographical exploration of this interface. ‘Global Urban Confinement Measures’ impact health by influencing disease perceptions, limiting nature access, and strengthening inequities. To prevent and mitigate zoonotic pandemics and their consequences, policy should promote nature connectedness, concert with stakeholders, and integrate nature-city-inhabitant interactions.