It is not a zoonotic disease
We have known for a while that Coronavirus (COVID-19) is not a zoonotic disease. Animals cannot infect humans, although stories have circulated where this may have occurred in very rare circumstances. But, in the main, especially for domestic animals, this is a huge relief. Can you imagine what would happen to all the pets of those unfortunate people who had to go into hospital? Indeed, what has become of many animals who haven’t been lucky enough to have someone step in and look after them? It must be a huge worry for any animal lover who finds themselves ill in any way. The effect of Coronavirus on the world for animals and the environment is being discovered one day at a time.
On the television the other night, I saw a report about a field full of horses and the owner had abandoned them. Several were emaciated, dehydrated, and some had their foal with them. In the end, it turned out the owner had Alzheimer’s and had forgotten about his horses. Vets treated them and found them new homes. A very sad situation.
While on this subject, this document provided by the RSPCA is handy to keep on your fridge, with your favourite fridge magnet, in case of emergency.
Here is a very nice infogram giving some very good advice from the RSPCA about caring for your pet during this time. A lot of it will also apply when things return to normal too #WashYourHands, face etc.
What could be… but let’s hope not!
And in this pandemic era that we find ourselves in, what might become of farm animals? We don’t know long this will take. Cows play such an important role in maintaining the land underfoot, keeping the grass short. They provide us with dairy foods – milk, cheese, yoghurt, and meat (if you’re not vegan). Pigs, chickens, geese, they are all on this earth for a reason. And then if “everyday” wildlife started to get infected too? Not being woken up by bird-song in the mornings, no foxes or badgers or hedgehogs in your gardens at night (some might argue they wish this was the case). These are, of course, extreme thoughts and we must always think of a more positive outcome.
It is very sad to think that many animals would be euthanised, sometimes “just in case”. So many animals would be affected so I, for one, am praying that this terrible virus doesn’t mutate into something worse for all animals. It really would be the end of the world. We ALL have to take Coronavirus seriously and STAY INDOORS and maintain SOCIAL DISTANCING if we want this pandemic to end as soon as possible. Wouldn’t it be nice to go out again for a walk with your dog without feeling scared?
In Spain, the one really good thing about this pandemic is that due to the state of alarm and confinement, all bullfights that had been planned for this year are all cancelled. This is great news for protesters who are over the moon about it. And I am totally with them. However, it does mean that bullfighting organisations are up-in-arms and approaching politicians, trying to get the decision over-turned. Fingers crossed the people they speak to won’t take any notice. Time will tell but in the meantime, good news for thousands of bulls, this year, at least.
The other week, we saw a video showing a huge pod of dolphins swimming so close to the beaches here (I’m living in Barcelona now). During the lockdown, there are no fishing boats out at sea nor jet-skis nor yachts – nothing related to human activity. It was beautiful to watch the dolphins swimming close to the shoreline, playing around, jumping and diving.
I’ve also heard that the water in the canals of Venice is the cleanest it has been in a very long time and dolphins have been seen there, as well as other species of fish. On the news this morning, they showed a giant species of jellyfish swimming in the Grand Canal. An amazing sight.
Again in Italy – the hardest-hit country after China for the number of cases of COVID-19 – ducks have been seen wandering around Rome while here in Spain, the numbers of wild boar have increased in suburban areas. People here are not huge fans of the wild boar as many gardens get destroyed every year by these animals. However, why wouldn´t they enter now? No-one around to bother them.
Wildlife and bird appearances in urban areas have been a worldwide occurrence in recent times. Humans, for once, are not restricting the animals´ movements and they are free to roam. It was great to view photos of some lions sleeping on one of the main roads in Kruger National Park. They were also seen just casually walking along in their pride along a road, causing quite a queue of cars behind. They looked so nonchalant.
Wild horses were seen galloping – and occasionally slipping – on the ski-runs of a resort in Europe and goats have been seen in more than one village in the United Kingdom.
The lockdown has meant a reduction in people using private and public transport and this has resulted in a less contaminated atmosphere in many parts of the world. This is wonderful for our planet. CO2 gases have needed to be reduced for years and at last, we can see how this benefits our wildlife. As much as we might hate confinement, it certainly has its benefits if we think about protecting our Planet Earth and all the animals, humans included (we are animals too after all). Maybe it is time the animals took over the world – maybe humans won’t be at the top of the food chain in the animal kingdom forever… time will tell.
In the meantime, please stay indoors. Enrich your animals´ lives as much as possible. Play with them, run around, play tag with them, make them new toys if need be, clean out their litter trays more often, so you both don’t get bored. This will help to avoid anxiety for you all. Learn from them. Animals can teach you something about yourself every day. Enjoy this time near your beloved furry (or scaly!) friends and you can only find joy.
And lastly, I share with you this video with a message from Chris Packham which can be found on the main page of the RSPCA website.
As a side note, please remember that if you do suspect your animal is ill in any way, shape or form, vets are still available and should always be consulted as soon as any symptoms or signs of illness become apparent. Even pets can develop anxiety issues, especially if they’re not following their normal daily routines. Veterinary clinics are considered “essential services”.
The Effect of Coronavirus on the World – Animals and the Environment
How are you coping with confinement? Are you lucky enough to have an animal companion to keep you company? How do you spend your time together? What are your views on this situation concerning animals? Let me know your thoughts. Thanks.