The planet needs stewards who understand we are an interwoven (and to a degree contingent) part of the web of life and then act accordingly. But the pandemic is a forewarning that ecological mutuality and dependence isn’t yet our lodestar. This cognitive deficit, if it continues, will make the present pandemic nothing but the first act of a real life drama in which nature will become the main protagonist and exact its revenge on humanity in ways that are unimaginably deadly and disruptive.