What is It Like To Be a Bat in the Time of Covid-19, or How Many Pandemics Could We Have?
Keywords:coronavirus pandemic, bat, sinophobia, (critical) animal studies, comparative, mythology, popular culture
In these paired years (2020–2021), the whole world has been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, which has resulted in the emergence of different presumptions, alternative facts, and fake news. Among those, the most dominant news was about bats as the culprits of expansion of the virus and, indirectly, the Chinese diet as the root cause. However, there is no proof that the links in the triangle of bat-virus-human are valid; and the source of infection has not been identified. In addition to bats, these viruses can be found in other animals, such as camels, pangolins, and humans. Therefore, individual scientists are reversing the situation by presenting the possibility of transmitting the virus from humans to animals. Nevertheless, it has become ultimately ‘acceptable’ to demonise the bat. In this respect, various authors remind us of certain historical contexts of notions and perceptions of the bats, as well as the similarities and differences of those perceptions during the pandemic, referring to it mainly in the context of Croatia and the world. In the end, the article’s conclusion is that the story about the bats is, actually, a great indicator of the representations of Otherness and the strengthening of a binary and hierarchical division of ‘us’ and ‘them’.
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