Travelers at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport wearing facemasks in early March as the coronavirus spreads throughout the United States.

Dear EarthTalk: I feel weird asking, but is there an environmental bright side to the spread of the coronavirus? And is there an environmental cause of the pandemic? — Jane K., Miami, Florida

Coronavirus has killed thousands of people and sickened hundreds of thousands (if not millions) more around the world. It has also caused mass hysteria and public health officials are bracing for the worst.

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