Corona – The Pandemic and the Pangolin


At a time when we are bombarded with COVID-19 information comes a moment of clarity – and a warning we cannot afford to ignore.

Connect via Skype with conservation icon Jane Goodall, controversial marine activist Paul Watson and a cast of experts quarantined in home offices and living rooms around the world, to hear their perspectives on our worst nightmare come true.
Revealing dialogues and relevant stories combine with raw, up to date images and Terra Mater’s classic, inspiring blue-chip footage, in a film to make you pause, feel and act.

As accusations and blame are cast on the failures of governments; as talk of coverups and conspiracies multiply; we invite audiences to change focus. In this film we ask – who is really behind the pandemic?

This is not just a story about today. There is nothing new about viruses that jump from animals to humans causing life threatening diseases.

David Quammen, author of a book written in 2012 that warns about the next human pandemic, reminds us of deadly viruses like Ebola, MERS, Hendra, and West Nile. The drumbeat continues with SARS-COV 2. The difference is, this one is affecting the world. According to Paul Watson, “this one is affecting white people”

Our guests hold no punches.

Scientists with hands on experience of emerging zoonotic diseases like Tracey McNamara, who found West Nile Virus in New York in 1999, see lessons for today. For decades she and other experts have called on governments to connect human, animal and environmental health. Spend more money on surveillance Tracey urges, or we will not detect the next viral threat “until we have a lot of people in an emergency room – or bodies in the morgue”

Why the title? Who knew what a pangolin was before this pandemic – before reports that it may or may not carry SARS COV 2? Chinese activist Jinfeng Zhou shows exclusive footage of pangolins suffering from suspected coronaviruses months before the outbreak. But, he says, even if the pangolin is not the source of this SARS coronavirus, it has become the symbol of this pandemic.
And the pangolin has become the symbol of our film – a symbol of the illegal and brutal wildlife trade run by organised criminals. Wildlife crime investigator Andrea Crosta takes us to where it begins.

In the jungles of Gabon, in a poacher’s camp, torch light illuminates the carcasses of slaughtered animals packed on top of one another, bodily fluids mixing. Here is a potential for deadly viruses to jump species. Andrea likens it to a Pandora’s box. We have opened that box.

“We have offered viruses a golden opportunity for evolutionary success.” David Quammen, “Corona – The Pandemic and The Pangolin”.

No apologies – this film is uncomfortable.

A production of Terra Mater Factual Studios