Two main possible pathways of emergence have been identified.
The first is that SARS-CoV-2 emerged from a natural spillover event—that is, from a non-research-related zoonotic transmission of the virus from an animal to a human, and thereafter from human to human. The second is that the virus emerged from research-related activities, with three possible research-related pathways: the infection of a researcher in the field while collecting samples, the infection of a researcher in the laboratory while studying viruses collected in their natural habitat, and the infection of a researcher in the laboratory while studying viruses that have been genetically manipulated. Because both the pathways of natural transmission and of research-related transmission are feasible, preventing the emergence of future pandemic pathogens must include two distinct strategies: the prevention of natural (zoonotic) transmission and the prevention of research-related spillovers. Each of these strategies requires specific actions.
Ron Unz has a theory that COVID-19 was created in an American lab and unleashed on Iranian and Chinese populations purposefully. Do you dare go down that rabbit hole? Odds are, Mr Unz is a lot smarter than you.
Steve Parker, M.D.