Tuesday, January 25, 2022

The Mink Quadrant

I sometimes fancy myself a writer
Although I haven't strayed much into fiction
What with life giving me more than enough reality
Consider this then as some mindless speculation
Or, if you would rather, an alternate history

The natural reservoir of the novel covidious virus
Is the great unknown, a mystery, and much like the Ebola virus
Has been mooted as cynomolgus monkeys, civets or bats
The prime suspect is thought to be bats, the original sin I suppose,
But most genetic sequencing has pointed to an intermediate host
Pangolins at the Wuhan market were initially mooted as the latter
Elusive this host, the forensic sleuths still search for genetic markers
But what of the reverse ferret, I ask? Well, what do you think?
Or would your inner pet detective rather consider the mink?

This plague has attacked humans, cats, and even tigers
Zoos and circuses have been known to be affected
But minks were the first species reported to transmit back and forth
Everything was very hush hush at those Dutch and French farms
It was the same in Spain, and Wisconsin and Oregon gave cause for alarm
But the prime evil was the mass culling of millions in Denmark
The panic that sorry affair occasioned was quite stark
There was no way to sugarcoat this late turn,
The swift butchery in the land of concern
The Danish dilemma seemed to put us all on the brink
As the saying goes, where there is smoke, there are also minks

Epidemiologists and virologists mostly shrug at the mink
And its possible impact on viral transmission
Sure, we would do well to monitor the situation
But they have enough on their plate, wouldn't you think?
And who can blame them? Simply getting people to wear face masks
Social distancing when politicians aren't up to the task
Still, the Humane Society was immediately on the case, that is
"Fur farms can potentially act as reservoirs for coronaviruses
Incubating pathogens transmissible to humans and are inherently cruel"
They renewed their longstanding appeal to the golden rule

Pity the minks, farmed for their fur for human masters
Then, scapegoats, casually culled in a covidious disaster
Beasts of burden long before animal to human transmission
The irony is that their minders were facing the same situation
The previous Surgeon General and CDC director were missing in action
Full of wishful thinking, as if allergic to public health interventions
The mink farm workers shared the same fate as meat packers
They were ostensibly celebrated as essential workers
Yet most were forced to work under conditions fit for a superspreader
What a life, neglected like mink, and casually led to the slaughter
A metaphor perhaps about how we treat the least of us
All living things on the mink farms were thrown under the bus
As to the carnage in this era of unease, that symphony of deceit
Recall, if you will, that there can be no winners in the game of the rough beast

baba blanket 05


The thing these days is that I've started to appreciate what's actually important in life. In related news, Pandemic Eye Syndrome is a new disease affecting human beings that allows them to discern what is actually essential, and, like others afflicted with this new clear-eyed vision - a gift from a tiny clump of viral RNA from Planet SARS-CoV-2 in the Bat-Pangolin sector and the Mink Quadrant of the galaxy, I'd rather minimize daily annoyance.

The Dishwasher Situation (June 2020)

The Mink Quadrant, a playlist

A soundtrack for this note. (spotify version)

This internal displacement is part of a series: In a covidious time.

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Writing log. Concept: May 20, 2020; March 30, 2021

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