Good news! Doggos won’t make you vom-o — and more to know about a zoonotic pandemic.

by Patch O'Furr

Need something wholesome for a time like this?  Investigation found no reason to fear that people might catch COVID-19 from dogs. That’s good for me and my chihuahua child. No more worry about going “aww” for little sneezes!

Plague Bats and Furry Vets

It’s rare for a new disease to jump from one species to another — they’re usually incompatible. But COVID-19 came from zoonotic transmission with no herd immunity or treatment. It’s NOT the common flu. The CDC info page calls it an evolving situation. Brace yourself! Learn key terms that the experts use.

Zoonotic: A virus is considered zoonotic when its origins can be traced to animals. These diseases are known as zoonoses, meaning they are naturally transmissible from vertebrate animals to humans. It’s believed the virus that causes COVID-19 may have originated in bats and spread through a number of species before it was contracted by humans.

I reached out to veterinarian furries for professional comments or a message to the fandom. Zarafa Giraffe works as fill-in staff at many vet clinics. He says:

Obviously, the Covid19 pandemic, and the social distancing it requires, has been devastating to the conventions and furmeets we love so well. The good news is that as far as we know, your dogs and cats are safe, and cannot transfer infection to you. Veterinary clinics are considered essential services, and will continue to operate. Even here in the San Francisco Bay Area, which currently has the strictest social distancing requirements in the US, you’re allowed to go to your local veterinary clinic. If your dog or cat needs medical attention, contact your local veterinarian.

AHH! No groceries! Don’t panic.

Amma Gawd, another vet (with an elephursona) tells me:

I work for the US Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service. We’re the agency that oversees meat, poultry and catfish production to make sure these products are wholesome, and correctly labeled and packaged. My role is to make sure the animals are treated with the best humane methods, and the packinghouses follow the federal rules for this. People have to eat, so we’re in full operations and have to deal with staffing shortages as they come up. We’re all working to keep you fed and safe. The Coronavirus has not affected production yet, and hopefully the grocery stores can keep restocking their supplies.

Furry events responding to COVID-19

Kitties and doggies can usually play together at furry cons, but many are closing or postponing. The problem isn’t just getting sick yourself, it’s passing it to others so fast that it overwhelms medical services. Social distancing slows it down. Don’t be a spreader!

A dangerous response — alleged fraud by unqualified con staff.

Anthro Southeast in Tennessee had 1,004 attendees in 2019. On their staff page, Vice Chair Keanu claims he earned a Ph.D. from Covenant College. The college says it teaches based on the Bible, and it appears to have no Ph.D. program.

Public complaints asked, why was Keanu using official status with degree fraud for dangerous claims about COVID-19? He called it “blown way out of proportion” and comparable to “the last several flu seasons.”

Requests for comment from Keanu and Anthro Southeast had no response at time of publishing. Keanu’s Ph.D. claim hasn’t been retracted. The official Anthro Southeast Telegram chat (where he is admin) wouldn’t accept a followup post. Covenant College has alerted all students to disperse.

Artists and freelancers cope with income instability.

Cons must plan to postpone hotel booking or how to feasibly break contract. Few may be insured for this and bankruptcy is a growing concern. It impacts dealers and artists too. “Virtual cons” and benefits are in the works. Have any tips for how to help?

More to learn about COVID-19 and zoonotic viruses.

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