I have been anticipating a pandemic for over ten years for reasons that would drive a climate change denier up the wall. My prediction is based on my experience with climate change. In the 1940s in New Jersey I remember my father giving me the job of knocking Japanese beetles off the grape vines into a can of kerosene (I’ve found that water works as well). I also remember picking ticks off my dog and talk of people getting sick with rocky mountain fever caused by tick bites.
In 1972 I started living on the farm I still live on in Maine. We had dogs who ran free in our field and picked up no ticks. There were no Japanese beetles. Ticks arrived about 20 years later, first in atrocious numbers not just on the dogs but climbing up peoples legs and the legs of chairs. Predators like turkeys and other birds have learned to eat them and the numbers are now reasonable with someone like me who spends a lot of time in field and garden picking off less than half a dozen a year. Japanese beetles arrived a few years later. I am dealing with insects and diseases in the garden that weren’t here 40 years ago. Proof that climate change is the cause? No, but pretty good evidence.