Yacht or farm
The best place to be stuck at home during the current pandemic?
How about a yacht? Except it’s probably hard to find a place to dock and probably even harder to get permission to go ashore.
Next-best place? A farm. Despite the pandemic, broken limbs still fall on the fences, the water still freezes on cold nights, the cotton gin keeps ginning, and winter wheat adds a touch of green. Life goes on. The gray fox is still a threat to the chickens – the ones you have left.
The cows especially are the quintessence of oblivion, grazing wide-eyed and methodically while the world goes awry. Not that cows don’t suffer from the Coronavirus – specifically Bovine Coronavirus (BCoV). They invented it. But most survive. And, at least for now, they don’t give it to humans.
Special varieties of cow’s milk are big business. For instance, there’s one kind somehow engineered especially for lactose-intolerant humans. Milk with Coronavirus antibodies would be even better. COVID-phobia is bound to linger even after effective vaccines are available to all. That milk would sell and keep selling.
Fact is, some milk already has lots of Bovine Coronavirus (BCoV) antibodies. A 2017 quote from “Veterinary Medicine,” eleventh edition:
“A nationwide survey of antibodies to BCoV in bulk tank milk in Swedish dairy herds found that 89 percent of samples were positive and 52 percent had very high levels of antibodies.”
An inventive milk marketer could capitalize on the naturally occurring Bovine Coronavirus antibody levels in milk, emphasis on “naturally.” It’s a worldwide cow disease. Those antibodies must be in cow’s milk everywhere, Sweden to Texas.
The conscientious marketer would then add a fine-print disclaimer: “Not proven by the Health and Drug Administration to be effective against COVID-19 in humans.” Something like that.
The words “in humans” deceptively make the product sound effective against COVID-19 in cows. So why not pay the premium price and hope it works for humans too?
We routinely take disclaimers for granted and interpret them however we want. Dedicated smokers must be numb to the warning that cigarettes can be dangerous to one’s health.
More apropos, how about those glorious ads for various medicines that play out while someone calmly announces a laundry list of all possible side effects, death included? You believe what you want to believe. Otherwise, those commercials wouldn’t keep running. And running.
Me, I’ve started buying tonic water. The label says “contains quinine.” Doesn’t some evidence exists that quinine helps humans combat the Coronavirus? An ounce of tonic water is worth a pound of cure. Right? Besides, the stuff is good.
As for milk, some of us are old enough to remember when good nutrition meant drinking four glasses a day. Four! That rule kept lots of cows employed.
Couldn’t the Coronavirus, sneakily misrepresented in the matter of milk’s efficacy, now give the dairy industry a timely boost?
In a world of bogus phone calls and online scams, a drink of bogus milk would be a refreshing change. Yum.