I read the link and didn't come across the 25 percent figure. However, if this is true then the Muslim community need to wake up, given the amount of elderly people with underlying conditions we have in our communities.
Reclusive, nocturnal, numerous -- bats are a possible source of the coronavirus. Yet some scientists concur they are not to blame for the transfer of the disease that's changing daily life -- humans are.
Zoologists and disease experts have told CNN that changes to human behavior -- the destruction of natural habitats, coupled with the huge number of fast-moving people now on Earth -- has enabled diseases that were once locked away in nature to cross into people fast.
Scientists are still unsure where the virus originated, and will only be able to prove its source if they isolate a live virus in a suspected species -- a hard task.
But viruses that are extremely similar to the one that causes Covid-19 have been seen in Chinese horseshoe bats. That has led to urgent questions as to how the disease moved from bat communities -- often untouched by humans -- to spread across Earth. The answers suggest the need for a complete rethink of how we treat the planet.
Bats are a possible source of the coronavirus, but some scientists say humans are to blame for the spread of the disease.
Bats are the only mammal that can fly, allowing them to spread in large numbers from one community over a wide area, scientists say. This means they can harbor a large number of pathogens, or diseases. Flying also requires a tremendous amount of activity for bats, which has caused their immune systems to become very specialized.
"When they fly they have a peak body temperature that mimics a fever," said Andrew Cunningham, Professor of Wildlife Epidemiology at the Zoological Society of London. "It happens at least twice a day with bats -- when they fly out to feed and then they return to roost. And so the pathogens that have evolved in bats have evolved to withstand these peaks of body temperature."
Cunningham said this poses a potential problem when these diseases cross into another species. In humans, for example, a fever is a defense mechanism designed to raise the body temperature to kill a virus. A virus that has evolved in a bat will probably not be affected by a higher body temperature, he warned.
But why does the disease transfer in the first place? That answer seems simpler, says Cunningham, and it involves an alien phrase that we will have to get used to, as it is one that has changed our lives -- "zoonotic spillover" or transfer.
"The underlying causes of zoonotic spillover from bats or from other wild species have almost always -- always -- been shown to be human behavior," said Cunningham. "Human activities are causing this."
When a bat is stressed -- by being hunted, or having its habitat damaged by deforestation -- its immune system is challenged and finds it harder to cope with pathogens it otherwise took in its stride. "We believe that the impact of stress on bats would be very much as it would be on people," said Cunningham.
"It would allow infections to increase and to be excreted -- to be shed. You can think of it like if people are stressed and have the cold sore virus, they will get a cold sore. That is the virus being 'expressed.' This can happen in bats too."
Pathogens that have evolved in bats can withstand a high body temperature, so a human fever will not work as a defense mechanism.
In the likely epicenter of the virus -- the so-called wet-markets of Wuhan, China -- where wild animals are held captive together and sold as delicacies or pets, a terrifying mix of viruses and species can occur.
"If they are being shipped or held in markets, in close proximity to other animals or humans," said Cunningham, "then there is a chance those viruses are being shed in large numbers." He said the other animals in a market like that are also more vulnerable to infection as they too are stressed.
"We are increasing transport of animals -- for medicine, for pets, for food -- at a scale that we have never done before," said Kate Jones, Chair of Ecology and Biodiversity at University College London.
"We are also destroying their habitats into landscapes that are more human-dominated. Animals are mixing in weird ways that have never happened before. So in a wet market, you are going to have a load of animals in cages on top of each other."
Kate Jones, Chair of Ecology and Biodiversity at University College London, said increasing transport of animals and habitat destruction meant animals were mixing in ways they never had before.
Cunningham and Jones both pointed to one factor that means rare instances of zoonotic spillover can turn into global problems in weeks. "Spillovers from wild animals will have occurred historically, but the person who would have been infected would probably have been died or recovered before coming into contact with a large number of other people in a town or in a city," said Cunningham.
"These days with motorized transport and planes you can be in a forest in central Africa one day, and in a city like central London the next."
Jones agreed. "Any spillover you might have had before is magnified by the fact there is so many of us, and we are so well connected."
There are two simple lessons, they say, that humanity can learn, and must learn fast.
First, bats are not to blame, and might actually help provide the solution. "It's easy to point the finger at the host species," said Cunningham.
"But actually it's the way we interact with them that has led to the pandemic spread of the pathogen." He added that their immune systems are poorly understood and may provide important clues. "Understanding how bats cope with these pathogens can teach us how to deal with them, if they spillover to people."
The cause of "zoonotic spillover," or transfer from bats or other wild species, is almost always human behavior, says Professor Andrew Cunningham from the Zoological Society of London.
Ultimately diseases like coronavirus could be here to stay, as humanity grows and spreads into places where it's previously had no business. Cunningham and Jones agree this will make changing human behavior an easier fix than developing a vastly expensive vaccine for each new virus.
The coronavirus is perhaps humanity's first clear, indisputable sign that environmental damage can kill humans fast too. And it can also happen again, for the same reasons.
"There are tens of thousands [of viruses] waiting to be discovered," Cunningham said. "What we really need to do is understand where the critical control points are for zoonotic spillover from wildlife are, and to stop it happening at those places. That will be the most cost-effective way to protect humans."
Jones said viruses "are on the rise more because there are so many of us and we are so connected. The chance of more [spillovers into humans] happening is higher because we are degrading these landscapes. Destroying habitats is the cause, so restoring habitats is a solution."
The ultimate lesson is that damage to the planet can also damage people more quickly and severely than the generational, gradual shifts of climate change.
"It's not OK to transform a forest into agriculture without understanding the impact that has on climate, carbon storage, disease emergence and flood risk," said Jones. "You can't do those things in isolation without thinking about what that does to humans."
Received this forwarded audio message on whatsapp.
"Lads, just got off the phone to a parent who's child comes to Abu Bakr (mosque/madrasah). She works in Manor Hospital. All the intensive care unit people, right now are all from the Asian (indopak/muslim) community. Most of the kids are carrying the virus around without even knowing, and that's how it's spreading. She gave me advice that make sure you detox all the house, dettol wipes, etc. Wash all your bedsheets, everything and go into isolation for at least 14 days, so you know nobody in the house is carrying anything. But she said it's dormant (asymptomatically) carried by children, Asian communities keep mixing and they don't listen."
I can truly vouch for the sisters comments. No social distancing. Parents treating it like a school holiday. Kids asking if they can come over to play. This week I’ve seen ppl standing in queues next to each other with hardly any space between. If they do start taking it seriously I’m afraid they have already spread it and unfortunately it will only be the weak and vulnerable that will pay the price for it.
Never seen such selfish behaviour with fighting, price hikes, hoard shopping, not taking the necessary precautions.
Allah created us humans the most intelligent but we are the most stupid in implementing our intelligence.
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Basically the response our community has been to empty out the shops. Hoard as much groceries as possible, try and bypass the restrictions placed in Supermarkets for 2 items per person. By sending in 6 different members of the family to purchase goods seperately.
Hike up the prices in our desi Supermarkets.
Zero focus on practicing social distancing. Or protecting the elderly members of our community.
Now that schools are closed our kids will be allowed to run wild, in large groups.
Considering we live in extended family households, our kids will then be infecting our parents.
Instead of just blaming frightened people, we should also be blaming our government.
People are panicking because they have no idea what is going on and what is going to happen. They have no idea if the shops will run out of goods or if we will be in total lock down next week. People are behaving like they are for a reason. It is up to the government to address those reasons.
The government needs to be completely transparent during this crisis. They need to constantly update us. Even hourly updates. They need to tell us everything they are doing so we are reassured. They need to put in measures to make supply routes and deliveries to supermarkets easier. They need to curtail panic buying. They need to help the weak, disabled, elderly. They need to have safeguards for people who have lost their jobs. Safeguards for small time landlords. Safeguards for rent and mortgage payers. They need to get serious against price gougers.
I would be very happy if they mobilise the army to keep order and control and maintain isolation. The only way to fight this for now is isolation, but too many people are not taking it seriously.
The government is talking about 2 or more weeks of isolation. What safeguards are they working on to facilitate this? What will people eat if they don't hoard? How will they medicate if they don't have medication? How will they stay clean if they don't have washing products.
I have seen elderly and disabled on the streets and in the supermarkets. They don't have the money or strength to buy goods and hoard for 2 or possibly more weeks of isolation. What are they meant to do?
The government needs to step up.
I have been panic buying. I have been hoarding. I have an immunosuppressed son. We live in a small house. Perfect isolation from my son is impossible. I have stocked up so i do not need to go out when things get worse. If my son gets this virus he is unlikely to survive. I have to prepare now before it gets worse. So I had to panic buy now so we can all go into isolation. It's either that or I sleep in my car so I can go about my day to day business and stay away from the rest of the family. And what if this thing carries on for longer than we think?
I have been going out shopping early morning. Not just for myself, but for others who are not able to do it themselves. I have been buying the maximum allowed and then going back in multiple times to circumvent the buying limits. This is not due to greed but due to necessity. I am looking after my ill son, my family, my sister in laws family who are in isolation, my elderly ill uncle and auntie who are in isolation, my elderly mother who is in semi isolation, a friend and his family who is ill, and 2 cousins and their family as their work hours mean there is nothing left in the supermarket by the time they finish work.
The whole thing is a mess. The government advice is impractical and only there to try and keep order and appease us. The government needs to introduce stringent controls, order, and organisation. But like always they are thinking of money. In everything that they are doing money is at the front of their mind. The government are fools and they have failed us.
Park up in your local supermarket and watch who violates restricted parking such as disabled spaces. It's always indopak Muslims. And usually it's the fit, strong, healthy brothers who do this. Some people from our communities have lost all shame.
My wife and I both fall under the high risk category.
I didn't panic buy (I don't think you did either), we simply stocked up on necessities and food staples.
We bought our regular groceries and then bought enough dry goods, like rice and beans, so that we could last for an extended period if we had to.
That's just a common sense approach when dealing with a pandemic.
Btw it might be sensible to keep a bit of cash at home. My local Tesco has 3 ATMs. 2 of them have been empty and not replenished. Only one had cash. There is no shortage of cash, but there may be shortage of people who can fill the machines with cash. The cash fairy doesn't come at night and magically puts money into them.
Where I am we have plenty of gujarati family all over the UK, some who have recently returned and a few who have just been. I havent been hearing any horror stories as yet, but from this thread i am seeing that plenty of muslims are affected.
So is it only muslims in certain towns that have been severely affected and hospitalized so far? Are Muslims in other towns (sadly) still going about their normal lives?
This cannot be undone and I am sure it will be greatly appreciated.
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