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30th Mar 2020

Lockdown Diary of Founder John Burns (inst.1)

by John Burns BVMS MRCVS

Coronavirus Lockdown March 2020

Sunday 29th March 2020

I’m in lockdown.  The business goes on as far as possible but I’ve been ordered to stay away.  I’ve got lots to do at home but getting settled to it as not so easy.  I want to re-write my Veterinary Guide to Natural Healthcare.  Or rather, add to it and bring it more up-to-date.  A lot has changed in the sphere of pet food, much of not for the better in my opinion and I need to have my say.

There’s an old Chinese saying, “May you live in interesting times.”  It’s not really intended as a blessing, more a curse actually.  The Chinese know a thing or two about interesting times and I don’t just mean the coronavirus plague.  If you would like to pass a few hours of your own enforced isolation you could do a lot worse than read Wild Swans, Jung Chang’s autobiography of three generations of her family.  It’s also a history, much of it tragic, of China through the twentieth century.

Now, we’re living in our own interesting times.  For the last 40 years or so we having been living the “market knows best” life.  Margaret Thatcher famously announced that there is no such thing as society. Government should be as small as possible rather than be a burden on the back of business; companies and individuals should pay minimum taxes; wealth will trickle down to the poorer members of society.  And then there has been the last ten years of austerity.

Coronavirus has brought that political philosophy to a dead stop.  Suddenly we need government big-time.  Local authorities and the health service suddenly have a vital role to play. Free marketeering captains of industry are calling for a bailout from the public purse. I even heard a politician say that there is such a thing as society.  Strange times indeed.

Perhaps some good may come out of this ordeal called coronavirus.

Monday 30th March 2020

The Cabinet Secretary Michael Gove has been giving out the pay about coronavirus on the radio. The message has changed from ‘the British public has had enough of experts’, to yesterday’s, I’m not making this up, ‘we must rely on data, the facts, science.’

Some commentators characterise coronavirus as a manifestation of nature fighting back against the destruction of the planet by we humans.  At Burns, we haven’t got it right but we are trying.  The whole concept of the Burns way of health through diet is founded on a traditional way of living, a tradition which has largely been forgotten in the developed world.

The basis of this is a diet based on whole foods (usually grains) and vegetables with animal products, refined foods and chemicals kept to a minimum or avoided.  This isn’t simply a recipe for improving individual health.  It applies to the planet as a whole. Over forty years ago, I adapted this philosophy of eating as a way of caring for our pets too.

One early death from coronavirus is one too many but the news that members of the health and social services have died is doubly tragic.  Their devotion to the public good is a lesson to us all.

Stay safe all,

John Burns

by John Burns BVMS MRCVS
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