“the intellectually nimble sleuth work done by scientists not of the CDC, in the course of viral RNA sequencing.” Of course, “epidemiology obligates even this creaky bureaucracy to trace the origins of the virus.
And so it has. Admits the CDC:
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in people and many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people and then spread between people such as with … with this new virus (named SARS-CoV-2).
The SARS-CoV-2 virus [has its] origins in bats. The sequences from U.S. patients are similar to the one that China initially posted, suggesting a likely single, recent emergence of this virus from an animal reservoir.
Early on, many of the patients at the epicenter of the outbreak in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, had some link to a large seafood and live animal market, suggesting animal-to-person spread. Later, a growing number of patients reportedly did not have exposure to animal markets, indicating person-to-person spread. Person-to-person spread was subsequently reported outside Hubei and in countries outside China, including in the United States.
In other words, coronavirus jumped first from animal to person and thereafter from person-to-person.
The deadly disease originated in one of China’s disease-breeding, barbaric, “wet markets,” as they are called. These “wet markets” are hell on earth for wild animals, which are tied up, stacked in cages and slaughtered on the spot, because the fiendish customers demand “freshness.”
As the Associated Press reports, “You’ve got live animals, so there’s feces everywhere. There’s blood because of people chopping them up, … The messy mix raises the … odds that a new virus will jump to people handling the animals and start to spread.”
To its report, the AP has appended an image of a “wet market,” adjacent to an up-market Chinese mall.
Suffer the innocent, helpless critters. Suffer the old and the infirm. God help us all. …
Music for the times is “V: The New Mythology Suite” by progressive metal band Symphony X. It features evocative melodies, harmonic complexity, gorgeous arrangements, furious licks, sublime singing, impossible time-signature fluctuations. No contrapuntal incompetence here. Yes, it is no contradiction at all to love Schubert’s trios and this … no contradiction at all.