NEWS AND VIEWS – INDIA: I cannot embed the Twitter video but I can provide a screenshot (below). It shows a calm woman with her dog in a lift, I believe in India. And at least one person is harassing her in their native language because she did not put a mask on her dog. The video seems to be quite recent. And, I presume, that the people are objecting because Covid-19 is not finished in India. And secondly, there is a trend in India to put masks on companion animals. Masks are being exported from the UK to India and the news is that there is a big demand for them.
The woman resisted and she has been called an “awesome furkid mother”, meaning a strong, admirable dog owner.
There seems to be an increased sensitivity in India about Covid and particularly the spreading of Covid by pets to people. A new Covid variant called “Arcturus” emerged in India and apparently it has reached the UK. This appears to have encouraged some states in India mandating the use of masks. The date of this news is April 2023 and therefore it is quite recent.
There has been a surge of infections in India of this variant. In 2020, at the height of the pandemic, personal protective equipment for pets was selling out in India. At that time, a company selling facemask for pets reported booming sales.
The same fear and panic spread throughout China during the Covid-19 pandemic. It’s an interesting development because in the UK, for instance, pets do not wear masks and never did. In the same would go for the USA.
This trend to put masks on pets appears to reflect a cultural difference between Asia and the West.
And it appears, judging by that Twitter video that I cannot present on this page, that people are quite passionate about pets wearing masks in India. They took the time to harangue and harass a perfectly innocent, law-abiding woman. They were wrong because strictly speaking, there is no need to put masks on dogs in the first place.
The risk of a dog transmitting Covid-19 to humans is infinitesimal based upon the science that we have to hand. It has always been like that. The same applies to cats. There have been some cases of transmission of Covid-19 from cats to people but they have been very, very rare and the strong scientific evidence is that we should not be too concerned about it. If you don’t believe me then please look it up on the Internet.
The final point to make in this article is that putting a mask on a dog or a cat carries health dangers for the animal. In fact, this is made clear by the CDC in America which states, “Do not put masks on pets; masks could harm your pet. There is no evidence that the virus can spread to people from the skin, fur or hair of pets. Do not wipe or bathe your pet with chemical disinfectants, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or other products, such as hand sanitiser, counter-cleaning wipes, or other industrial or surface cleaners.”
That says it all. Clearly the message is not been received by the citizens of India. No doubt the haranguing suffered by this woman is a result of fear. India did suffer terribly during the peak of Covid-19. I can recall many thousands of people being burnt on funeral powers in car parks because the hospitals were overwhelmed and they had died outside of hospital.
There are some incredibly dense human populations in India which no doubt contributed to the rapid spread and heavy death rate, which was also heavily underreported for political reasons as has been the case in China and other countries.