Mad Cows and Eco-Pandemic Irish Literature

By Treasa De Loughry (Lecturer/ Assistant Professor (Ad Astra Fellow) in World Literature in the School of English, Drama and Film).

Contemporary reporting on Covid-19 has focused on it’s environmental links—we know that Covid-19 is a ‘zoonotic’ disease, or a virus transferred from animal to human populations which emerged in wet or wild food markets in Wuhan in Hubei province, China.

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Blog Intro by Gerardine Meaney

It is just over a century since the last global pandemic, the ‘Spanish’ Flu or Great Influenza of 1918-20. Since then, attitudes to some of the most basic human experiences have been changed by scientific understanding and revolutions in social and familial relations. For those of us with the privilege of access to modern medicine, there is a great gulf between our generation’s expectation of health, life and well being, and those of our great-grandparents. The experience of our bodies is very different to those who were or remain at the mercy of infection without antibiotics, cancer without chemotherapy, asthma without inhalers. The birth of a child is no longer ordinarily attended by the spectre of danger and death in much of the world.

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