Pangolins have the unfortunate distinction of being the most trafficked animals in Africa - in some cultures, their scales are believed to have medicinal properties. Evidence suggests that the coronavirus pandemic may have begun in the wildlife markets of the Chinese city of Wuhan, where pangolins and many other species were kept in appalling conditions.
The pangolin’s scales – an evolutionary gift of armour – have ironically proved to be its greatest weakness. Just like the pangolin, we have all had to withdraw in on ourselves to protect the ones we love. At the same time, the pandemic has led many of us to question what really matters to us.