Okay so, I’ve spent the day researching the connection between animals and Corona Viruses like SARS, MERS, H1N1 and CoVid 19 and like the AIDS/HIV and Ebola viruses.
Apparently, these viruses start with animals. Then, if we come in contact with a sick animal and have some cell receptors that are similar to the host animal’s cell receptors, the virus can jump from animals to humans.
Is this the quintessential Vegan Victory or what? Stay away from meat!
Not so fast, celery breath!
Animal/virus research may tell us about which animals to avoid or at least to not eat uncooked. (Wash your hands, cough into your elbow, keep a safe distance and stop eating raw meat!)
And it may tell us about the contribution of unhealthy livestock handling to the spread of viruses.
And it may tell us which countries need to be subject to serious travel restrictions if they continue to not avoid these animals or don’t adopt better food safety regulations.
However, although “Contact-tracing” can leads us to the first person or persons who was in contact with an infected animal host, that doesn’t in itself explain how vulnerable we are to these viruses.
People have been in contact with some of these animals for centuries.
What is making these viruses so deadly to so many? Is it destruction of natural habitats which creates greater exposure to virus carriers? Are we somehow strengthening and/or facilitating mutation of these viruses? Is it the conditions in which we are keeping these animals? Is it the conditions in which we are keeping ourselves?
Or have we always been this vulnerable?
I read where in the 1300’s within the short time that sailors stumbled off their plague-riddled ships in Sicily and alarmed officials sent them right back to their ships, the Black Plague pandemic was off and running throughout Europe for decades to come.
And viruses are tough buggers to kill. The plague is still around. Small pox, another viral pandemic from Europe, which killed about 90 percent of native North Americans starting in the 1600’s, was finally deemed extinct in the 1940’s.
So what do we do now?
The solution to these historic plagues? – self-isolation and better community hygiene until they developed a vaccine. Sound familiar?
Or wait until the virus kills off huge portions of the population, leaving only those who managed to survive the infection and built up an immunity.
Seems like we have gotten faster at developing vaccines. However, hundreds of thousands of people would still die before a vaccine was developed. And, considering how many viruses there are and that the CoVid 19 is a new strain, how many vaccines are we going to need?
These plagues seem to be connected to globalization. There is a direct historical link between plagues (pandemics) and international trade/travel. Maybe that two-week trip abroad is going to mean 2-weeks of quarantine before and after? And consider yourself lucky because the word quarantine comes from the Venetian word meaning 40 days.
And maybe we need to seriously strengthen our immune systems.
I don’t know what the solution is going to be.
What I do know is that Crocodiles feed on Wildebeests. The Wildebeests don’t fight back. Viruses feed on people. We fight back.