The Luv Doc: Batshit Crazy

Viruses don’t respect boundaries

The Luv Doc: Batshit Crazy

Luv Doc,

Girlie and I are discussing the suspect Wuhan, China Bat Virus pandemic. I'm no Yankee, and not from Austin, while armadillo-tattooed girl of mine is blood-tested Austin. We are about to split over the bats under the bridges over our river. I say they might have some virus. She ain't going for it. I stress to her that science might be more reliable than affection for one's hometown. Oh, Great Dispenser of Wisdom Luv Doc, should I stay or should I go?

– No Yankee

You may tell your armadillo-tattooed girl that the Luv Doc has your back on the issue of whether or not the bats under our bridges carry “some virus.” They do. Go ahead and take a quick victory lap around the living room and then sit down and shut it. Yes, bats carry viruses. All mammals carry viruses – even adorable winged ones. You, sir, carry viruses. I can say that with almost absolute certainty. Are you adorable? Do you have furry wings? Are you able to eat your body weight in mosquitoes in a single night? I can’t say for sure, but if you can eat your body weight in mosquitoes in a single night, I need you to come hang out on my back patio.

There will always be thickheaded simpletons like our president who believe the “no, YOU farted” strategy will make the room smell less shitty.

Hopefully your mouth will be too busy hoovering up mosquitoes to pop off with any more xenophobic phrases like “China Bat Virus.” Being a fan of science, you surely realize that viruses don’t GAF about geographic categorization. In fact, viruses don’t respect boundaries at all. They bust through cell walls, replicate quickly though their host organism, and then spread to other host organisms – like yourself – without any regard for team colors or political ideology. Nonetheless, there will always be thickheaded simpletons like our president who believe the “no, YOU farted” strategy will make the room smell less shitty.

Wouldn't it be great if our president had the ability to eat his body weight in mosquitoes in a single evening? It’s unlikely of course – and not just because of the limitations of his digestive tract. In fact, I’m pretty sure he eats his body weight in french fries and hamberders in a single year. No, it’s unlikely because after 73 years of being completely useless he isn’t going to all of a sudden be of service – especially not by consuming a bunch of organisms that share his modest IQ.

But back to your bats, which in this case are Mexican free-tails – or, if you like to imagine them without fur, you can call them Brazilian free-tails. Yes, those bats do carry viruses. Do they carry COVID-19? I guess in a world where a single organism can eat its body weight in mosquitoes in one night, anything’s possible, but scientists generally agree that direct virus transmission from bats to humans is unlikely at best. Usually it’s through an intermediary mammal – in the case of COVID-19 the most likely suspect is something called a pangolin, and nah dawg, you’re going to have to Google that shit yourself. Quick hint though: It’s the only mammal with scales and looks suspiciously like an armadillo.

Even if there is a chance that you can get COVID-19 directly from a bat, it’s still unlikely – especially if you have the sense not to pick them up. Here’s a rule of thumb: If you’re close enough to a bat to see if it has a cold sore, YOU’RE TOO GODDAMN CLOSE. Otherwise, a nice stroll along the Congress Avenue bridge probably isn’t going to kill you, but maybe bring an umbrella. You don’t want to go batshit crazy.

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