The Hamster Is Probably More Self-Aware

, , , , , , , | Healthy | April 12, 2020

I’m in my mid-forties. My beloved hamster started to have blood in his urine at about the worst possible time, during the start of a widespread illness. I got a same-day emergency appointment and took him to my local vet who, thankfully, was open.

There was a large sign on their door asking patients not to enter if they showed any signs of the illness, but rather to call for further instructions. I stopped, read the sign, and then carefully entered, stopping at the tape marker before the receptionist’s desk. The receptionist was a woman in her sixties wearing gloves and other protective equipment.

I noted after greeting her that I had read the sign and had no symptoms. The vet, the receptionist, and I were all careful to keep separation as much as possible during the visit.

The visit went well and my hamster was prescribed antibiotics. As I was waiting to check out and pay, a woman in her sixties walked in the door with no pet and stood right next to me, despite the fact that the place had no other clients and she could easily have moved further away.

I moved away as far as I could get and still conduct my transaction.

The receptionist told the woman, “I need to ask you if you have read the sign.”

“What sign?” the woman asked.

“Please go outside and read the sign.”

The woman stepped out, huffing, and read the sign while the receptionist and I looked at each other in horror like, “Duh? There is a flipping world-wide crisis going on.” The receptionist actually smacked her forehead and I shook my head in sheer disbelief.

The woman stepped back in and said, “I read the sign. I’m fine,” and then flopped down in a chair as close to me as she could possibly get.

I looked at the receptionist like, “Help!” and she got me checked out and on my way as fast as possible. I fled out the door with my sweet boy — the receptionist was kind enough to hold the door for us — and I hear the woman asking her if she could buy a commonly available brand of dog food you can get at nearly any store.

I still can’t believe she’d risk her life in an international health crisis for dog food she could have ordered online or had delivered to her car at the nearest pet store, and then further do so by standing right next to someone.

If I get this illness, I have a pretty good chance of making it. People her age are dying at a rate of one out of three. If the CDC and WHO and everyone else tell you to separate as much as possible, do it!

Much as I am annoyed by young people partying on the beach during this, it’s not just them that are acting foolishly.

My hamster, by the way, is doing fine.

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