Miriam’s Musings

My perspective on the pandemic’s path? I’m glad you asked…

It has been a year since I first heard that health authorities in China were investigating a strange cluster of people presenting with pneumonia-like symptoms that appeared to have an unknown origin, other than a link to a wet market in the city of Wuhan.

Now I’m willing to bet that until early 2020, many readers would not have heard of the term ‘wet’ market.  However, as an animal welfare advocate, I’m sadly all too aware of the goings on, and of the way in which these markets (whose practices are largely legal in China) operate. Whether or not you agree with the way in which business is conducted at these wet markets (and I categorically do not), speculation is rife that the novel virus we now know as Covid-19 emerged as a result of interaction between an animal and a human.

I’m no veterinarian and neither am I a wildlife expert – just a dedicated animal advocate, animal lover and rescuer, who, before Covid (BC) and lockdown, lectured in the humane and compassionate treatment of all animals. Therefore, in response to those who’ve contacted me, asking my thoughts regarding the origins of the virus, I’ll try, with my limited knowledge, to place a bit of my own perspective on it. Here goes:

When you buy, sell and slaughter wild animals for food (as is the practice at these wet markets), you’re creating not just an explosive environment for the poor innocent creature, you’re also creating a situation where diseases, if present, can spread. If any of these poor animals are ill, kept in filthy, over-crowded and stacked cages (which many of them are), these vulnerable, desperately sick innocents become stressed, leading to their viral pathogens to intermingle. This can then possibly result in the switching of part of their genetic codes, which may feasibly then mutate in a manner that makes them highly transmissible between species.

Let me repeat: I’m no animal health or human health expert. I’m just someone trying to offer a perspective on this respiratory disease’s path, which, according to reports, scientists believe allegedly occurred when it was transferred through handlers and consumers being exposed to the poor ailing wild animals’ bodily fluids. Fact? Fancy notion? Who knows? On the other hand, is China (where the SARS-Co-2 was first identified) also a victim, and did Covid-19 originate elsewhere? Perhaps it did, perhaps it didn’t – we may never know the entire truth.

Either way, one year on – and against a backdrop of political sensitivities – the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) investigators are still trying to ascertain the exact origins of Covid. What we do know and can confirm however, is that as a direct result of coronavirus, Ireland’s economy has been crippled, family businesses and schools have closed; jobs have been lost, millions have been hospitalised, and devastatingly, thousands of our loved ones have perished.

As I write, it’s reported that 4,574 deaths relating to Covid-19 have occurred, with 283,495 cases of the virus currently affecting people across this island. Sadly, I’ve got no doubt that by the time we go to press these numbers will have increased.  On a global level, there have been 97.9 million confirmed cases of Covid-19. However, it’s important to point out that also globally, 53.98 million recoveries have been reported; these recovery rates are the stats on which we must pin our hopes.

On a personal level, I’m petrified of contracting Covid, and I’m doing all in my power (as are many others) to avoid falling victim to it. However, the woman who entered a local petrol station I was in last Friday, coughing and spluttering and devoid of a mask, clearly isn’t. And while vaccines (manufactured at breakneck speed) are abundantly available, a fearful Irish nation that is facing into further lockdowns wonders why our government/ health service appears to be infuriatingly slow with the roll-out? We also wonder why anti-mask wearing morons, like this woman, are allowed to continue to place the rest of us at risk, without fear of any repercussions?

 

Tiresome Conor

Fellow Dub Conor McGregor and his outrageous ‘antics’ have become not just tiresome…they render me nauseous to such an extent that I punched the air last weekend when I heard that Dustin Poirier reigned victorious over ‘the notorious’ mouthpiece, knocking him out in the second round. Seriously Conor… going down in the second round?

Don’t get me wrong, I love a working-class-hero-made-good, and when I first heard about McGregor, I was delighted that an ambitious and positive role model for Irish kids had emerged – a sporting hero we could all be proud of…sure isn’t he one of our own!

But sadly, McGregor’s anything but a hero. I’m sorry to say, but given the obnoxious, condescending, brash, boastful, racist-git-hooligan persona McGregor’s cultivated – not to mention the gaggle of sycophants he’s gathered round him – this mega-minted MMA boxer appears more like a cocky-little-bully-with-bank-notes-braggart than an aspirational warrior with the heart of a true Dub!

 

Why is Micheál off on a beano while rest of us are locked down?

Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan managed to stay awake long enough to inform us we aren’t allowed fly out of Ireland in search of a sneaky bit of sun, saying: “you cannot fly; you are in fact subject to a fine”. That’s grand Eamon, I totally understand that for the betterment of us all, I’m not allowed move past my designated five kilometres unless I’m making an essential journey! However, if you’ll be, “introducing much stricter sanctions on the 5km rule to stop people flying”, why is Micheál Martin allowed skedaddle off on a beano to Washington for Paddy’s Day? I mean I know it’s traditional, but it’s hardly essential, meaning I shouldn’t be reading headlines reporting that An Taoiseach’s ‘trip to the White House for St. Patrick’s Day is still on despite Covid-19’.

Yes, it’s important to honour our special bond with the US, and even more so this year, what with the POTUS being ‘Oirish’ and all that, but can’t Micheál do what the rest of us do and Zoom Joe?

Look Eamon, it’s traditional for me to spend birthdays with my girls in Dublin, but since, in your eyes, I’m only a member of the hoi polloi, and not part of the government’s ‘elite’, I’ve got to contend with Zoom calls and posting parcels! Listen, just pop a pot of shamrock into an An Post jiffy bag; Joe and Jill will understand and we can all laugh about it over a Jemmie ‘n’ red when he visits the homestead post-pandemic!