Twelve people in Denmark have been infected by a coronavirus variant from a new animal carrier: minks. It’s a different type than the one responsible for the pandemic.
Officials aren’t taking any chances with a spreading outbreak and plan to cull the entire mink population.
There’s a potential silver lining from this newly discovered transmission vessel. With any luck, this news will kill rumors about the deliberate spread of COVID-19 from Chinese labs.
A complete culling of minks on Danish farms will result in the death of between 15 and 17 million animals.
What if a more ubiquitous animal was discovered carrying a virus that could spread to humans? Maybe one that was important for US agricultural production?
In a story based on this scenario, we could look back at a more potent form of mad cow disease. With the entire US cattle population’s culling, a new synthetic type of meat and milk created in a lab would dominate the market.
The main character could be a young girl who raises a cow hidden in a cave, similar to stories of secret dragons. Then, when the animal is discovered, a race to save its life begins. First, with locals who try and kill the cow, then with scientists who want to destroy the last remaining specimen of the species.
The cow and the girl are aided by an underground movement that has been able to keep a few of the animals alive, unknown to mainstream society. The bulk of the novel could be the trip out of US borders, taking the cow to a place either in Canada or Mexico where it could live without worry. Similar to “Free Willy.”
Thinking about the idea further, it could actually be a dragon story and explain why dragons are so rare in the first place. I’ve never written a fantasy story before, but this could be my chance to pay homage to the numerous fantasy movies and novels I read as a child.