I am in no way a conspiracy theorist, and I apologize ahead of time if I offend any of you.
Remember, I’m just a veterinary general practitioner in rural Illinois. I spend my days vaccinating puppies and kittens, performing spays and castrations. You know, the typical vet stuff that people think consumes our time. (There is just a tiny bit of sarcasm there.)
I’m no biologist or virologist. I do know science, and have the basic knowledge of these things, but I am in no way, an expert.
All I know is when details of the current coronavirus started coming to light, I became a little suspicious of its origins.
The Suspicions Begin
They tell us that it is a mutated coronavirus from an undercooked bat in a Chinese market. That’s how quickly it happened.
One bat, in all its glory, produced the perfect mutated virus that is one of the most infectious viruses to humans we’ve seen to date. More so than the original SARS or Ebola. It’s so infectious, it’s the only recent virus that has shut down our society!
This one mutation created this virus to have a high affinity for human cells. No other animal species can become so infected by COVID-19.
How is that possible?
China is already stretching the truth about numbers affected. Read about it here.
The Details Come to Light
Ever since hearing these first details, my boss and I have racked our brains trying to understand this. See, as veterinarians, we are no strangers to coronaviruses.
We know dogs have a coronavirus, even though the majority of dogs show little, if any, symptoms at all. Cats, on the other hand, will show signs of nasty diarrhea. That is usually the main type of symptom of the preliminary virus: gastrointestinal signs. Symptoms may resolve on their own or with some help.
So why are the symptoms we are exhibiting mostly respiratory, you ask? Here’s the kicker. This virus likes to hang around. Kind of like the chickenpox virus in us humans, the feline coronavirus likes to mutate. So, after walking around like little petri dishes for a time, cats may or may not succumb to a mutated form. Take note that this takes a while to happen.
This mutated form will then attack the immune system, causing two forms of what we veterinarians call, feline infectious peritonitis (FIP).
Guess what… the effusive, or wet, form of the disease causes respiratory signs. *GASP* These are very similar signs to what humans are currently experiencing. *GASP GASP*
To read about COVID-19 symptoms and the science behind them, click here.
So, as I see it, the current coronavirus reeking havoc on society today is most similar to the feline coronavirus. We’re just a bunch of FIP cats walking around.
I then have the question, did the virus really come from bats?
The Plot Thickens
I’ll just come out and say it. I believe our COVID-19 was originally a feline coronavirus. Afterall, the original SARS was a coronavirus believed to be brought on by cats. Why couldn’t this be so for the current one?
So far, it’s suspected cats may be able to acquire COVID-19 and develop symptoms. Something no other species shares as of yet. Is this more evidence I see?
Read on about if cats can get infected here. Want to read about the first cat that tested positive with COVID-19? Click here.
I will clarify, however. I believe it to be of feline origin, but it did not come by naturally. There, I said it.
There are many theories out there. The one I like the most is that this current virus originated in a lab in China and was accidentally let loose. I wouldn’t be surprised if this theory ended up being true.
There is currently research being done using viruses to treat cancer. It is done by changing the surface receptor proteins to recognize only cancer cell receptors, attach, and destroy the cancer cell.
This is real science. This is not science fiction, something imagined for a Netflix series. We are developing this technology in real life. Why, then, couldn’t the same have been done to the feline coronavirus in a lab?
It wouldn’t take much. We already share very similar, almost exact, pulmonary (lung) receptors as cats. The virus wouldn’t have to be manipulated very much. Just enough to survive our body system when it first enters and be attracted to the right cells. That puts us one step closer to supporting this theory.
There WIll Always Be Skeptics
Infectious disease researcher, Kristian Andersen, thinks the virus is natural and not from a lab. I disagree. Check out the article here.
Many try to discredit this theory that I share with so many others. They give examples of how certain parts of COVID-19’s RNA/DNA is only found in other natural viruses. Therefore, it must be natural. Well, I’m not saying it didn’t start out as a natural virus. I’m not saying the entire virus was man made in a lab. I’m saying, some lab took a real feline virus, and manipulated it to their liking.
Someone then accidentally exposed themself and brought it to the market, most likely on their way home from work to pick up a few things for dinner. And the rest you know.
In my opinion, articles like the one above, are written by those grasping at straws. Straws they think may hold up a theory, but are very thin and weak. Straws that could potentially be explained a different way with scientific evidence. (I’m very aware my theory is in this position as well. Like I said, I’m no expert.)
So That’s My Theory
Please don’t condemn me for it. I don’t want to blame the cats in our lives, the tigers and wild predators we’ve come to love (thank you Tiger King!). It’s just been this uncomfortable feeling, this itch I can’t scratch, that’s got me thinking… why couldn’t this be so? It makes so much more sense!
Anyone else have a theory? Think mine is too far fetched? We’d love to hear it! Scientifically speaking, of course.
EDIT TO ADD: Since I started writing this blog post, Fox News has released information confirming that COVID-19 did in fact come from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. An employee accidentally infected herself, took it home to her boyfriend, and then spread it to others at the market when shopping for dinner. I’m not so crazy, huh? Read the whole story here.
I still think the virus is of feline origin and not bat, but I digress.