Honoring Disease in the Midst of a Pandemic

Throat grooves on a deceased blue whale, the largest animal on earth. Photo: Margaret Simeone.

I once got bitten on the hand by a sea lion that I was working to heal. It was a lightning-fast chomp that sent a searing heat across my hand. I quickly removed my gloves and spent dozens of minutes flushing it with soap, water and iodine. I was lucky that the wound did not progress to the dreaded ‘seal finger’, a bacterial infection caused by Mycoplasma that can cause painful joint infections and permanent…