The Countryman's Weekly


March 25
08:10 2020

Commonsense cleanliness will keep ferrets healthy

By James McKay.

OR the first time in living history, we are facing a pandemic capable of changing society as a whole.

While we do see extremes – those believing this is a load of hogwash and nothing serious is going to happen to anyone, and those at the other end of the spectrum who think it’s the end of the world – we must all strive to keep to the middle ground. We must take all necessary precautions, appreciating the potential severity of the pandemic, but not overreact. Our actions must be governed by commonsense based on scientific facts.

Unfortunately, social media is stuffed with armchair scientists who wouldn’t know the difference between a capsid and a lysogenic cycle. And yet so many people believe these ‘experts’. While serving in the UK’s armed forces, I learned a great definition of expert:

‘ex’ is a has-been and ‘spurt’ is a drip under pressure. Worth remembering when you’re reading social media posts!

Let’s start at the very beginning… coronavirus is a generic (group) term for a large family of viruses which cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). In other words, we have all, at some time, suffered from a coronavirus ie. the common cold. At the outbreak of the current situation many on social media posted photos of the labels on commonly available disinfectants which stated the substance was effective against coronavirus and then dismissed any concerns as ‘we already have the cure’.


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