Columns Prada’s Lust Revealed: Pandemic Killed Not Only Six Million People, Maybe Also Chinese Market Culture

Three new studies provide further evidence that the coronavirus was transmitted to humans at a fresh market in Wuhan, writes Katriina Pajari, editor of the Monthly Supplement.

Celery was wrapped in Prada paper. In the pictures, the tomatoes were in boxes that read Feels like Pradajust like Prada.

Wuzhong’s fresh market in Shanghai ran an advertising campaign with an Italian high fashion house in the fall. The square sign was upholstered in Prada’s black bench patterns, as were the counters and walls. If you bought for more than 20 yuan (2.8 euros), you got a paper bag with the fashion house logo on the products.

The rapture was part of Prada’s winter campaign, and a good advertisement for traditional Chinese history as well. Fresh markets have suffered a lot from the coronavirus pandemic. More than a week ago, three studies were published that found new evidence that SARS-CoV-2 was infecting humans in a Wuhan marketplace. The raccoon dog is suspected to be the intermediate host.

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In China and elsewhere in Asia, fresh markets are a folklore. They are a bit like market halls with their own compartments for vegetables, spices and meat, for example. Caged live wildlife was sold in some markets. It was from such a department that the coronavirus probably set off.

Wildlife sections of markets in China have been closed for more than two years. They will hardly ever be opened again.

The whole Chinese market culture may be on the same path. Many categorically prune markets, even if they sell only vegetables.

Investigator Zhong Shuru wrote recentlythat the fading squares are also a picture of the change in Chinese urban life. Working days are so long that few have time to cook at home. Shopping is done online. Many live alone and only eat takeaway food. The big Chinese cities are modern and mostly clean. Markets are often old and smelly.

The medical journal The Lancet published last summer article, which proposed actions to improve fresh markets and global health security. Risks need to be identified and markets classified accordingly. Many of the markets are harmless. The good ones stand out, and the local culture support.

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Butter be that no action will help anymore. The pandemic killed not only six million people, but perhaps also Chinese market culture. There were signs of that in Shanghai.

The Prada market did attract crowds, but many threw away the fresh produce they bought as soon as they received the paper bag.

Some were filled with pictures of people posing with fashion bags. The common joke was this: You can finally afford Prada.

Celery was hanging along the streets.

The author is the editor of the Monthly Supplement.

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