UK Lockdown: WHEEK 1:

Who’s Loving Lockdown?

Hello World, how’s it going?

Normal Guinea Pig business will resume shortly, but there doesn’t seem like there is much normal to be had anywhere at the moment. Unprecedented times they are calling it, so It feels a bit amiss to not to be acknowledging it constantly. And for once, every person in the world is in the same boat (not literally obviously as that would be illegal). Every single one of us is having to hurriedly come to terms with a new way of life. For now anyway. The News is changing on a daily, sometimes hourly basis, it’s so hard to keep up; never before was yesterday’s news, as out of date, as it is now. The world has gotten smaller, so much that it doesn’t even need a capital W anymore.

As a reclusive introvert, I admit I’m loving lockdown. I do believe Coronavirus is also helping with my anxiety – One big thing to worry about, replacing all those multitudes of smaller concerns. A sort of Anxiety Consolidation. I can’t even remember what I was in state about two months ago. And on this one, I’m probably no different from anyone else – which is refreshing. And, as I just can’t get enough alone time, I might even be doing better mentally, than a few people.

GPM UPDATE: Apart from any upcoming postage or transportation problems (not yet foreseen), your Guinea Pig Magazine will be largely unaffected by the Covid-19 outbreak.

Now is a great time to be connecting with your guinea pigs, camera in hand, securing their position forever in the annals of GPM history. You, dear people, are the content of Guinea Pig Magazine.

We want to know how you and your guinea pigs are coping in these rapidly changing times?

How’s Lockdown for you and your pigs?

Have you had to cope with a guinea pig medical emergency?

Are your guineas celebrities on Instagram or Youtube?

What does your piggy set-up look like?

Do you have any guinea pig questions for our Experts?

Write to us and send your pictures: alison@guineapigmagazine.com

Stay Safe, Stay Piggy!

This has been Alison, your editor, self-isolating and loving lockdown!

Self Isolation: Torture or Total relief?

Hello World! I hope you’re doing okay, and if not, I hope it gets better for you soon. It’s Alison, your editor here. Again. Blogging along. I say “World”, but I only know of two people that read this blog (CONFIRMED cases – ACTUAL cases may be higher – but who will ever know as there is no way of testing ti).

For our pampered guinea pigs, nothing has changed. They’ve always been in an element of lockdown, even if it’s just a curfew. They may wonder why their human is home more, with odd perfumey hands, but all in all, life continues as normal. Fortunately for them, grasses and fresh veg are not being panic bought – just toilet rolls. So there are some little piggies living it up in a cardboard loo roll holder heaven wonderland, while some little piggies have none!

Now. I don’t know much about blogs, but I get the feeling that these public musings are no place for a sort of indulgent personal mental health sharing therapy, but I do have a few thoughts ‘leaking’ out. Cerebrally speaking. SELF-ISOLATION is the most beautiful term, coined now forever in the hearts and minds of introverts and recluses everywhere. For extrovert people, self-isolation is a form of torture. They are as alienated in this new world, much as we introverts were, in the friendly and outgoing old world. With places of togetherness closing down everywhere, there is an element of relief for all of us that didn’t want or couldn’t afford, to go out anyway.

I don’t ever want to make light of suffering or devastation that anyone is experiencing. Please remember these are the views of the editor only and do not necessarily represent the beliefs of Guinea Pig Magazine.

We have a few competitions coming up for those of you with enforced time on your hands. A special one for our younger readers is launching in the next issue. Meanwhile, you piggy photographers, Instagrammers, and You-tubers, have plenty of opportunities to get your guineas into the coming issues of the magazine. All you have to do is email me – no touching – at alison@guineapigmagazine.com. I’ve been practising Social Distancing all my life.

My final word of the day is reserved for Guinea Pig RESCUES. They are having a tough time of this scary new world. They rely heavily on volunteers, and all their essential long-awaited Spring fundraisers are being cancelled. As far as I know, charities are not being reimbursed for potential lost revenue and critical cash flow. But if you were going to attend a fair or show that’s not happening now, please still donate. You can go to their Facebook pages for details of how you can continue to support them even if it’s just to give your thousands of (virus-free) cardboard toilet roll holders, for enrichment and play.

This has been your editor, reporting from up North, unchecked and uncurbed.

Stay piggy, people.

Can my guinea pig catch coronavirus?

Hi there Piggy Slaves, it’s Alison your editor here, we hope you are enjoying your new issue!

Here is the latest information on Coronavirus and what it means for you and your guinea pigs. We are all aware that this virus is spreading faster than all the virologists or epidemiologists (who work on and study viruses and the spread of disease) can keep track.

Thank you to Kim Halford MRCVS, Katherine Frayling RHA, Abigail Edis Exotic Vet Nurse, and Dr. Alison Wills. The views and knowledge expressed here are based on what our Experts have seen/reviewed/discussed with others.

While Coronavirus is zoonotic (the source of it thought to be an animal, but there is a debate over the species), that does not mean it passes from and to all animals. In truth, we do not know where the virus has originated from. Viruses are mutating and being discovered all the time and COVID-19 is no different, except being a nasty strain of a flu virus that we see every year during the winter. You may have seen in the media reports of a dog in Hong Kong testing positive for the virus. However, this was on a swab, which just picks up the presence or absence of virus particles. The dog lived in a house with humans who had covid-19, and the likelihood is that the dog just breathed in the virus.

There is currently absolutely no evidence that COVID-19 is passed onto or carried by guinea pigs or any other animals. Animals have their own viruses but not this one. However, this information could have been missed, or more likely, the evidence hasn’t been collected. It’s also unlikely that there ever will be much evidence collected for us – guinea pigs may not be the most popular pets in the worst affected countries, and the best people to approach are still dealing with the human side of it.

There is no need to isolate yourself from your pets or rehome them. If anyone has flu/respiratory symptoms then just observe good hand hygiene as normal and follow the Government and Public Health England’s guidelines on isolation and medical advice. No need to change anything with pets. New advice may change things but this is the most up-to-date as of now. (15th March 2020)

The best advice that we can give you is hand hygiene, hand hygiene, hand hygiene; Before and after handling guinea pigs and other animals. Hands should be washed with soap for at least 20 seconds making sure the whole surface of the hands are thoroughly lathered. Of course, this is good practice anyway.

Don’t forget we have a whole article on Zoonotic Dseases and Your Guinea Pig in Issue 46 of the magazine, click here.

Here is some further information about whether pets can catch the coronavirus. As with any illness, it seems that it is best to avoid too much contact if you are suffering from the virus or are suspected of having it. https://wsava.org/news/highlighted-news/the-new-coronavirus-and-companion-animals-advice-for-wsava-members/

 And some sensible advice from the RSPCA. https://www.rspca.org.uk/whatwedo/latest/blogs/details/-/articleName/how-to-care-for-your-pets-if-you-re-ill-or-have-to-self-isolate-due-to-coronavirus

 Protect yourself and protect your pets by washing your hands!

“Write a blog” they said…

“But I’ve never written a blog – I’m not even sure what a blog is”, I said.

So here I am, Alison your editor, greener than cucumber, writing my first blog. Part of me wants it to be really really good, making my blogging debut a viral smash hit spreading faster than flu (bad analogy?) – and part of me wants it to be really rubbish, so that I don’t get asked to do it again. The rest of me still doesn’t know what to write. Regular magazine readers will already be well aware of my ability to compile a lot of random words that say very little, surely no-one wants more of that!

What would new visitors to the website, and regular GPM readers, want to know about? I guess, you would want to know the status of your next magazine, and to be reassured that it is as full of content as you have come to expect. You might be wondering what GPM is about, and what sort of content there is?

(Your new glossy printed issues have arrived in the warehouse and are now being bagged and labelled ready to be dispatched to you – and digital readers, your issue is being electronically linked, and you will receive an email in the next few days when it is ready).

I suppose a blog covers all of the above, a little of everything, knowledge sharing. And it would be a great platform to give you lots of INFORMATION, INFORMATION, INFORMATION.

If you would like a blog such as that suggested above, please like this little foray. If you don’t wish to see me writing again, don’t like it.

If there are not enough likes at the end of what seems like a long time period for an impatient, I probably won’t be called on again, literary speaking. For I am a recluse. And recluses are not neurogically disposed to social media. (Or stalking. Recluses make bad stalkers too.)

Stay Piggy People, and you know what to do…