Hell of a world we live in, brethren. The COVID-19 outbreak has led to everyone losing their goddamn minds. Entire cities are on lockdown – 46 million Chinese people are under the largest quarantine in human history. Typically the province of survivalists, wackjobs and the morbidly obese, food stockpiling has become socially acceptable among normies. UK supermarkets have drawn up emergency plans to deal with slobs, goons and loons. Some Americans have stopped drinking beer. You want racially motivated hate crimes? We goddem! The toilet paper shortage in Hong Kong led to knife-wielding thugs stealing 600 rolls from a supermarket. The Chinese Yuan has fallen to an 11-year low. Andrex is the new currency. Like I said, hell of a world.
As you would expect, all fingers are pointing at the Chinese government, apart from those of the Chinese government itself who, with the comic timing of a true veteran, is blaming the United States. The one thing everyone agrees on is that we are woefully unprepared to deal with such a crisis. If only there were some way we could have predicted this? Perhaps if scientists had warned us. Maybe if there were some comparable outbreaks in recent history or indeed throughout human history?
It’s a head-scratcher, right enough. The moment permits us some self-reflection. The very last thing The Savage wants to do is engage in simplistic reductive arguments about the pathogenesis of a worldwide outbreak which is, by its very nature, multifactorial. Nonetheless, he will say this: The Wuhan coronavirus is God’s wrath against bloodclaat bloodmouthsa and fuck your entire fucking life if you doubt me.
Masking for a friend
First off, let’s deal with some coronavirus myths – just so you know is that we aren’t on some gaslighting fake news shit. You should know straight away that your rasclaat face mask will not save you.1 That regular surgical mask you dug out from your Doogie Howser MD cosplay box provides zero protection for regular members of the public going about their daily business. In fact, the US Surgeon General, Jerome M. Adams has stated that the rush on purchasing masks could be putting frontline medical staff in danger.2 For your everyday Joe Schmo from Cocomo, physical contact with contaminated surfaces is the most likely cause of infection by far. In a nutshell, washing hands: good; rapey masks: later for that.
Misinformation is rife, alternative medicine is trife
In any crisis there is opportunity of course and nobody understands this better than the filthy tramps of the alternative medicine industry. Simpleminded saps sharing the 2009 Holistic Primary Care article “Oregano Oil Proves Effective Against Coronavirus” are actively harming public understanding of the outbreak. Oregano oil is worthless and that goes too for drinking hydrogen peroxide, injecting high doses of vitamin C, eating garlic, rubbing sesame oil on the body, avoiding ice creams and milkshakes and all the other crank cures circulating online.3 The ghouls of alternative medicine have no place in any public health crisis and their only function is to soothe the imagined maladies of the dregs of the middle-class – a made-up cure for a made-up disease. While we’re popping bubbles, Team You Can’t Be Vegan and Own Pets should know that your pet can’t give you coronavirus unless they share that pangolin casserole they knocked up with you.4 And, as ever, all conspiracy theorists can eat a dick a day until they die.
While it’s terrific fun to ride Big Meat, this is where we need to be careful not to overreach. The consumption of meat in itself, will not give you coronavirus. You’re thinking of arteriosclerosis, cerebral haemorrhage or possibly cancer – take your pick. Don’t allow your personal ethical objections against eating meat to lead you into pseudoscience and unsubstantiated claims. Do that, and you’re no better than Fox News host Jesse Watters, demanding an apology from the Chinese for “eating raw bats and snakes”.5 Related, that bat soup video spread by Kremlin dickriders Russia Today was recorded in Palau, not China and should be disregarded as the shameless clickbait it is.
Your money or your life
What is true, however, is that the filthy communist skunks of the Chinese government have for some time been engaging in that most capitalist of endeavours, pandering to the greed of the masses and in doing so, bought themselves a long-term cornholing. Since 2001, the state TV channel has been broadcasting the popular TV show Secrets of Getting Rich, which promotes the breeding of wildlife such as bamboo rats, squirrels and pangolins as the path to mad moolah.6 The poverty-stricken rural underclass has taken them at their word. Wildlife farming exploded; the meat sold at the now notorious wet markets where doomed live animals are slaughtered in front of ogling punters for their consumption. It is believed this is where the COVID-19 outbreak originated. The markets are a glorious pathogen petri dish where everything wrong with everything intertwines and slithers in an ecstasy of fumbling, calf killing and bat guano. And you just came to see some insects on a skewer.
It is indeed a strange sight to foreign eyes, all this rhino horn, shark fin and tiger skin. The temptation is to dismiss it as the rancid practice of a degenerate culture but let’s not go full Morrissey just yet. The Wuhan wet markets are not a million miles away from the chick crushing, throat cutting and shit stacking of our own factory farms, feedlots and cattle trucks. Mad cow disease spread in the UK as a result of farmers feeding dairy cows the meat and bone meal of their dead sisters. As they were during the SARS crisis, the wet markets have been temporarily suspended (with pressure to make the suspension permanent).7 Sure, certain practices are safer than others but it feels like we are missing a larger issue here.
Careless pork costs lives
In 2003, the SARS outbreak originated in the same wild animal markets as the current COVID-19 outbreak. Foot-and-mouth disease resurfaced in Britain in 2001 and led to the slaughter and incineration of 6 million animals.8 Bushmeat caused the Ebola crisis of 2014.9 216 people lost their lives to the deli-meat borne listeria outbreak in South Africa in 2017-18.10 It’s not even a year since African swine fever ran through the Chinese pig population like a Hollywood starlet running through hotel reception having had a “special meeting” in Harvey Weinstein’s suite. China lost 100 million pigs to the fever, decimating the industry, the economy and yuk sung parties everywhere.11
Nature of the East
Don’t get a mistaken idea. This is no Gaia or Mother Nature sending plagues like The Book of Exodus, warning us to change our ways. The Savage will no sooner commit the appeal to nature fallacy than he will commit ritual disembowelment upon himself with a tuning fork. So, he will not be arguing that we were designed to eat fruit like that god-awful freak Freelee The Banana Girl. No, he is merely taking the epidemiological evidence and placing it on the scales in favour of the practical and ethical case against continuing to eat animals. Because in an uncertain world, the one thing we can be completely sure of is that this will happen again and that the next outbreak will have absolutely no chill.
And yeah, future generations will look back and chuckle at our blood-soaked corpse-chomping ways. History is a stern judge but she is also a teacher. Much like siege warfare, witch burning and child sacrifice, it was fun for a while but now meat has had its day. Hold the line against barbarism and gently but persistently make the case for a new and everlasting covenant. Quit porking the pig, man.
a Citation needed
- Can wearing a face mask protect you from the new coronavirus? – Live Science
- US Surgeon General begs people to ‘STOP BUYING MASKS!’ amid coronavirus panic – New York Post
- Fears Of The COVID-19 Coronavirus Provide More Opportunity For Misinformation About ‘Miracle Cures’ – Forbes
- Your pet can’t catch coronavirus. Here’s why one dog tested positive – CNN
- Fox News Host Claims Chinese People Eating ‘Raw Bats’ to Blame for Coronavirus – Daily Beast
- Coronavirus closures reveal vast scale of China’s secretive wildlife farm industry – The Guardian
- China Bans Trade, Consumption of Wild Animals to Counter Virus – Bloomberg
- When foot-and-mouth disease stopped the UK in its tracks – BBC News
- Ebola: Is bushmeat behind the outbreak? – BBC Health Check
- What’s Behind the Deadliest Outbreak of Listeriosis – Time
- China could release emergency pork reserves after losing 100 million pigs to swine fever – CNN business