The 3 Possible Ways Thousands of NY Deer Got COVID
Scientists are scratching their heads. Thousands of white-tailed deer in the country, including in New York state, have COVID, and they have no idea how. Luckily, I think I do.
Listen, science can only go so far, then you need some creativity. Up to 40% of deer that were studied across the US were found to be carrying COVID antibodies, pointing to the fact that at some point, they had the actual virus. But how? The best theories the egg heads have come up with so far are that a hiker had their infected sneeze carried by the wind, or deer possibly ingesting sewage or trash. Lame. Allow me to present my own theories.
Hypothesis #1: An Interspecies Make Out Party
As a researcher on the project noted, there's "no masking, no social distancing" in nature. There are also no rapid testing facilities in the forest (unless you count parts of Ulster county), meaning that this virus could have easily spread from just a few infected animals to thousands very quickly. The easiest way to spread germs? Sucking face. Listen, people have tried to get way more intimate with animals before, so who's to say a creepy outdoors person with the sniffles didn't set the mood with some fermented berries and a salt lick at sunset? Play a few tunes on a Bluetooth speaker, and BAM, everyone in the forest has COVID.
Hypothesis #2: A Super-Spreader Event
The more bodies packed into a contained area, the higher the possibility of virus transmission. The same science should apply to woodland creatures. Picture this: one deer nabs Bambi on Blu-Ray from an open window of a house full of people isolating with COVID. They thought they were doing a good thing by adding air circulation to their house, but now a young buck is tearing ass through the forest with a Disney classic between his teeth, ready to laugh, cry, and spread COVID to all his friends.
Hypothesis #3: Deer Were the Ones to Create COVID in the First Place
Sure, science has "proved" that the virus originated in Wuhan, but hear me out. We've been shooting and running over deer for decades, if not centuries. Eventually, they're gonna want some payback. Scene: three deer standing on their hind legs in lab coats in a secret lair only accessible through a hidden door within an oak tree (Princess Bride-style), eyes shining brightly as they raise a test tube to the light. "We did it, we finally did it!", the leader booms before erupting into maniacal laughter. Then: oops! The vial slips from the grasp of their hooves! Alas, they don't have the opposable thumbs needed for grip! The vial shatters and they lock eyes, knowing that they flew too close to the sun. The leader begins to cough. It has begun.
Listen, is it more likely that intermediary animals, such as a house pet, acted as a courier of the virus between their infected owner and the deer? Maybe. Is it as intriguing? Absolutely not.
So until we know more, how about you don't try and hug a deer after you get a positive test result. That could probably be a blanket suggestion for any wild animal you come across. Plus, if you do see a deer wearing an N95, now you know why.
Also, I'm kidding. But in case you now feel the need to grab the pitchforks and head into the woods: The post above reflects satirical musings and is not based on scientific findings regarding the COVID-19 deer outbreak.
How about some better nature news? Check out these gorgeous winter shots from some of our most talented Hudson Valley photographers below.