The Paranoia Pandemic
by Delilah Penn
What would happen to your pets if the Covid-19 or other disaster strikes and you had to leave them or sit it out without enough supplies or pet food on hand?
As soon as the news
commentator says “there will be… a gas shortage, toilet paper shortage or other
shortage” we as a civilization, FREAK OUT and actually cause the shortage by
rushing to the stores and cleaning out the shelves! I will have to agree with
the ‘don’t travel right now’ but have you ever thought of the “WHY” other than
the obvious transmittal of the virus?
When all the news erupted about the Princess ship being quarantined with its
3,000 passengers, my 1st thought was “Oh my! I wouldn’t want to be a healthy
person stuck on a ship with sick people and no way off.”
My next thought was that all those people had planned to be gone
7-14 days and made arrangements for trusted pet care but now what happens to
their animals? I don’t know about you but when I decide to go on vacation, I
have to hire someone to take care of my Bengal cats and my dog and I have
allotted that much cash to be paid to that person. Like most, I come home broke.
I also let parents and kids know I will be gone but they live elsewhere so they
aren’t handy for care-giving backup.
What happens if you are quarantined somewhere else? I have on occasion planned
to be home on a Sunday and told the girl she only needed to come Saturday since
I’d be back, what if I wasn’t? My animals don’t roam freely so when they’re out
of food and water, they are out of food and water!
What if you don’t have any family to tell you’re going somewhere? I just saw an
episode of NCIS and the elderly gentleman gave his dog food that morning, then
went into the garage and killed himself. What happens to the dog??? Turns out he
left a note with a neighbor… what if he hadn’t?
If you board your pet, you probably budgeted for that money. At least at a
facility, you don’t have to worry about starvation… just the HUGE balance due
when or if you get back. How much money did the people on the ship have to pay
to get their animals back? How many animals died because no one knew to take
care of them? Yep, I’m staying home!
The news has also insinuated if you pet an animal with the corona virus (no
mention of strain, cause guess what, dogs and cats get corona virus too) you can
catch it too. What it fails to say is that you aren’t getting the virus from the
pet but that animal has an INFECTED OWNER who has coughed, sneezed, and petted
the animal. You come along and pet it and now you’re infected.
My worry is that people are going to over-react and paranoia will over-take
common sense and they will put their animals out or ditch them at shelters.
Worse yet, will shelters start destroying animals because of an insinuation NOT
FACT about transmission. I have this horrible vision of stacked animals burning
like they did for mad-cow disease which by the way, never got here from the UK,
but drove beef prices through the roof.
The news is being very selective at what they AREN’T saying. For instance, how
long a virus lasts on mail, furniture, other surfaces. I know they can’t say
because at this point in time, they really just don’t know. They can only go on
information of previous viruses.
They think it can stay airborne for about 3 hours depending on “saturation”, I
guess how wet the cough or sneeze is. I have heard them say don’t worry about
mail because most of the time it is in transport for more than 24 hrs. What
about the spit someone used to seal an envelope? Ever use your finger to open an
envelope and give yourself a paper cut? What about the plastic envelope windows?
Does it live longer on that plastic? They just don’t know.
How long does it live on the push-door at the local market? Some say 2-3 days on
plastic, stainless-steel, door handles, plastic-coated or laminated worktops and
other hard surfaces. They have found that copper surfaces tended to kill the
virus in about four hours. Doctors and veterinarians don’t have a clue about
viruses on clothing and other surfaces because they are harder to disinfect but
they do think it may die out quicker because it dries faster. Maybe…
The medical people haven’t made it clear how or if SARS-CoV-2 virus caused the
disease Covid-19. Like I said, they base their current ideas on other studies of
other coronaviruses, like Sars and Mers. Those viruses can actually survive on
metal, glass and plastic for as long as nine days, unless properly disinfected.
Some can even hang around for up to 28 days in low temperatures so the idea of
it dying out when it gets warmer, theoretically, sounds good but again, they
So, as an owner of pet dogs and Bengal cats, I have a backup plan for the “just
in case I can’t make it home trip”. I’m not rushing to the store to stock up on
paper products, I clean with bleach anyway, so my surfaces are disinfected and I
have always carried a little hand sanitizer and now I will “remember to use it”.
Mostly, I’m not going to freak out and let my paranoia get the better of me.
So for God’s sake people, DON’T take your animals off somewhere and dispose of
them! If you happen to get the Covid-19 virus, take precautions so you can’t get
your germs on your animals. You shouldn’t be having company over anyway,
but if you have health care workers helping you, tell them not to pet the dog!
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