The Center for Disease Control (CDC) is on a roll. It recently issued a warning that rats in many areas are becoming extremely aggressive due to a lack of restaurant waste and could therefore pose a threat to humans. According to the USA Today, the CDC issued a statement reading: “Jurisdictions have closed or limited service at restaurants and other commercial establishments to help limit the spread of COVID-19. Community-wide closures have led to a decrease in food available to rodents, especially in dense commercial areas.” Therefore, some jurisdictions have noted a pronounced increase in rat activity. The lock-down is even adversely affecting rats? This is not good news since rats (and mice) can—directly and/or indirectly—transmit more than 35 different diseases to humans.
Bobby Corrigan, an urban “rodentologist,” told NBC News: “They’re mammals just like you and I, and so when you’re really, really hungry, you’re not going to act the same. You’re going to act very bad, usually. So these rats are fighting with one another, now the adults are killing the young in the nest and cannibalizing the pups.”
Perhaps we can capture these rats and send them to China.
Corrigan’s remarks were particularly striking. They’re “just like you and I” and act very badly when really hungry? So they kill their kids and eat them?
Well, who can’t relate? “Kids, your mom and I lost our jobs because the government doesn’t consider them ‘essential.’ Now we have no money for food and are getting kind of hungry, so we have some more bad news for you…”
But the CDC wasn’t done yet. It also issued extensive new safety guidelines for schools, should they reopen this fall, in order to combat the coronavirus. A brief summary of the guidelines follows:
*Students, if over the age of two, must wear face masks.
*No sharing of supplies or items that can’t be easily cleaned/sterilized between uses.
*Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces between uses.
*Separate all belongings into individual cubbies or labeled containers
*Avoid the sharing of electronic devices or learning aids.
*Desk to be a minimum of 6-feet apart and all facing the same direction.
*Only one student per seat on school buses and skip rows between riders.
*Tape to be placed on sidewalks and walls to ensure kids stay six feet apart.
*Physical barriers or screens to be placed between sinks in bathrooms.
*Hallways to be one-way routes.
*Students stay with the same staff all day, no switching teachers.
*Student arrival and departure times to be staggered to limit crowding.
*Recommend daily health and temperature checks.
*Shared spaces such as cafeterias and playgrounds to remain closed.
*Kids to eat lunch in classrooms.
Good luck with all that. On the bright side, maybe the kids can leave enough crumbs to help out the rats.