Environmental health and resilience are critical complements to public health, and the pandemic is inextricably intertwined with global environmental issues, both in terms of its origin and its implications for the future well-being of societies around the world.
The pandemic highlighted the important link between air pollution and mortality from COVID-19: higher levels of indoor and outdoor air pollution exacerbated the health impacts of the pandemic. Improved access to good quality water and sanitation benefits overall population health and especially the most disadvantaged. The pandemic has also highlighted the significance of human interference with biodiversity in helping to create the conditions for pathogens to leap from animals to humans. Deforestation, habitat degradation and fragmentation, agriculture intensification, wildlife trade, and climate change have all played a role in zoonotic diseases, including COVID-19.
Better air quality, improved water quality, effective waste management, and enhanced biodiversity protection not only reduce the vulnerability of communities to pandemics, but also improve overall societal well-being and resilience.