Think Covid-19 is animal in origin? Think again. It’s anthropogenic: caused by human activity. The pandemic, which won’t be the last zoonotic disease to cut a swathe through Homo sapiens , is a human overpopulation problem. You don’t have to live in Mong Kok to know there are too many of us. There are now 7.8 billion people on the planet; the United Nations predicts the population will reach 9.8 billion by 2050 and 11.2 billion by 2100 at the current rate of proliferation. And we continue to spread out. As Agent Smith puts it in The Matrix : “You humans […] move to an area and […] multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism […] that follows the same pattern […] a virus.” This unchecked expansion into new habitats is bringing humans into increasing contact with wild-animal pathogens against which we have no biological defences. But resource stripping is only stage one. While we’re destroying the animals’ homelands we might as well increase our profits by killing the animals (stage two) and selling them as “bushmeat” or shipping them, alive and suffering, to abominable wet markets across Asia. And let’s not forget to give a dishonourable mention to traditional Chinese medicine, with its conveyor-belt demand for tiger penis, rhinoceros horn and pangolin scale. Along with Victorian-age “trophy hunting” and the rest of the appalling wildlife trade, this requires even greater access to habitats while exterminating all species great and small: stage three. The latest potion trumpeted by traditional Chinese “medicine”, by the way? A fake cure for Covid-19 , called tan re qing , which contains bear bile. Asiatic bears, which are barbarically “farmed” for their bile, are already listed as “vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Population predictions are quoted so often that we tend to sleep through them and accept the inevitable. But who says we must have nine-plus billion people in 2050? Why is that considered a fait accompli? In the insoluble conundrum around global warming – which itself would be eased by the presence of fewer people – why are we not hearing incessantly from “experts” about how we should be stemming the population tide? Why are we not hearing the Catholic Church’s admission that the prohibition on artificial contraception was a dumb idea? Obliterate the illegal wildlife trade. Bulldoze the wet markets. Stop proliferating – something social distancing should make easier than ever.