Up next on Infinite Crisis on Coronavirus Earth: Release the hounds!
Four Covid-19 sniffer dogs have begun work at Helsinki airport in a state-funded pilot scheme that Finnish researchers hope will provide a cheap, fast and effective alternative method of testing people for the virus.
A dog is capable of detecting the presence of the coronavirus within 10 seconds and the entire process takes less than a minute to complete, according to Anna Hielm-Björkman of the University of Helsinki, who is overseeing the trial.
“It’s very promising,” said Hielm-Björkman. “If it works, it could prove a good screening method in other places” such as hospitals, care homes and at sporting and cultural events.
After collecting their luggage, arriving international passengers are asked to dab their skin with a wipe. In a separate booth, the beaker containing the wipe is then placed next to others containing different control scents – and the dog starts sniffing.
If it indicates it has detected the virus – usually by yelping, pawing or lying down – the passenger is advised to take a free standard polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, using a nasal swab, to verify the dog’s verdict.
In the university’s preliminary tests, dogs – which have been successfully used to detect diseases such as cancer and diabetes – were able to identify the virus with nearly 100% accuracy, even days before before a patient developed symptoms.
I don’t really believe this is real, but imagine if it were?
Imagine being in a public place and being surrounded by dogs, signaling you out as diseased.
Can you imagine anything more dehumanizing?
And then what happens after that? Men in hazmat suits rush in, throw you in the back of a windowless van?
Is there no line at all that can’t be crossed?
Are we actually willing to give up everything about our humanity in the name of fighting this virus?