For as long as the novel coronavirus evolved through stages of being a meme – a scare – to a global pandemic, a large sect of people have been going around telling stories of “how a guy ate a bat in China”.

Is this true? Absolutely not. It’s probably this year’s biggest misconception.

What actually happened


Probably the only accuracy in this story is the mention of Wuhan’s Wholesale Market – which was indeed the spawn point for the current global virus.

It’s a wet market; which means it sells live animals. It was the subject of many legislations and legal disputes made in China as far back as the early 2000s, when the SARS virus was a thing.

Activists and pressure from the rest of the world tried to get government officials to close down the market before. Why? Because the Chinese market does not only practice unethical farming and breeding but also ignores basic sanitation.

Wildlife animals are farmed to be sold in the wholesale market.

Wildlife animals are farmed to be sold in the wholesale market.

The wet market withstood many attempts for its closure through its donors and high-profile customers, who would purchase expensive endangered animals from it. As with their rising power, vendors and tenants would be able to lobby any vote against wet markets. This became possible the moment wet markets became a new industry that was here to stay.

Coronavirus – how and why?

Covid-19 microscopic

Covid-19 microscopic

I mentioned SARS earlier. That’s because its inception is very similar to that of Covid-19. Both viruses were transmitted between animals before reaching humans who expedited spreading it.

This is the part where we debunk ‘the bat’ myth.

The novel virus came about due to a course of transmissions between various animals. This is a regular occurrence especially when you factor in unsanitary conditions, poor food and untreated medical issues.

The virus becomes serious when humans are involved. The Wuhan wet market sees hundreds of visitors every day, interacting with the environment. The animals hosting it then pass it on to a human host, with different immunity, genealogy – and most drastically – ways of spreading it.

The virus then enters the civilized world as those who carry it are bound to spread it.

Are bats involved? Yes. Only because they were being sold at the market. Are they the reason this happened? No. Please stop spreading misinformation disguised with racism against someone else’s culture.

So whose fault is it?

It’s the wet market vendors for farming endangered animals.

It’s the wet market industry for lobbying.

It’s the Chinese government officials for taking bribes.

China has finally closed down the Wuhan Wholesale Market. But history shows us it won’t be for good. That’s why the world needs to intervene to make sure this doesn’t happen again.

The infamous wet market finally closed down earlier this year.

The infamous wet market finally closed down earlier this year.

While the purpose of this article was to debunk a misconception, it was also to expose a greedy, negligent industry that is surrounded by pointing fingers in this era’s biggest virus outbreak.

Author: Ezz