Lockdown Diary

I can’t say I am enjoying this lockdown.  And worst of all it ruins your travel plans.  Last year we had planned a road trip around Spain and Portugal, but the virus put an end to that.  This year we were hoping to do a trip up to Scandinavia and this is looking less and less likely too.  So, lack of travel sort of curtails more travel  blogs.  Because of this, I thought I’d start a lockdown area on the blog.  I want to look out for the bizarre, the curious, ironic or just interesting things that may come out of the current situation, but in a non-partisan way.  After all, it is exactly these sort of discoveries that are one of the major reasons to travel about the place.  So here is the first one.

My boss wants us all to take lateral flow tests twice a week.  She said that if anyone was vegetarian, then they should check out the Vegan Society’s website.  I am a vege (or more accurately a pescatarian) and that apparently qualified me to be tasked with finding out the information on behalf of other members of staff who don’t eat meat.  I searched the Vegan Society’s web pages, as well as a general search on line, asked on the union’s Facebook page but came up with nothing.  Until finally someone posted on the NEU site to say it was to do with an enzyme used in the test which is synthesised from the ovaries of hamsters.  It is true!  I don’t want to go into the merits or otherwise of lateral flow tests – non-partisan, remember?

How on earth did scientists stumble across or discover this, that’s what I want to know?  But here’s the nub: it’s not just any hamster… it’s the Chinese hamster!  So, the Chinese may have given the world the virus, but at least they had the good grace to gift the world hamsters whose ovaries could be used in a test for it.  Now that was an irony I could not let pass me by without at least a little comment. Love it!  But I still want to know how on earth it was discovered.

Listen to it below:

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