At this point we might as well just put wheels on those goal posts.
Cats and dogs may also need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to help stunt the spread of the infectious disease — amid a threat of the "continued evolution of the virus in animals," scientists have warned.
While he has never said so, I believe my dog is an anti-vaxxer based on his body language whenever he gets a shot. Then again, using that same metric, he's also an anti-bather, anti-brusher, and anti-ear cleaner.
Continued virus evolution in reservoir animal hosts, followed by spillback events into susceptible human hosts, poses a significant long-term risk to public health.
While I assume scientists want the pandemic to end, I don't think they want it to end end if you know what I mean.
"It is not unthinkable that vaccination of some domesticated animal species might … be necessary to curb the spread of the infection," the experts wrote in the peer-reviewed medical journal, the UK's Independent reported.
While there are no known cases in which a human contracted COVID-19 from a furry family member, Cock van Oosterhout, a professor of evolutionary genetics at UEA in Norwich, said we should prepare "for any eventuality."
No, we really shouldn't. Or, more to the point, we should only prepare for eventualities based on a reasonable assessment of likelihood vs. cost, and not just monetary costs, but overall societal impact.
"It makes sense to develop vaccines for pets, for domestic animals, just as a precaution to reduce this risk," he said.
We knew a pandemic was going to happen, and yet we were unprepared for it. But not because we're stupid.
Imagine being the guy spending the last 100 years warning of a coming pandemic and insisting that hundreds of millions of dollars be spent every year stockpiling supplies and making other preparations and insisting on pandemic-mitigating practices be put in place like social distancing and universal masks "just in case."
Even if such measures were realistic, they're probably not even cost-effective.
And keep in mind, we're doing the exact same thing right now and we will continue doing those things because it probably makes sense to.
Here are some events that are going to happen that we are not remotely prepared for:
- Yellowstone caldera supervolcano erupting.
- Impact with a large comet or asteroid.
- A Carrington-level solar ejection.
- Cascadia-level tsunami hitting the west coast.
- Midwestern New-Madrid-level earthquake.
That's just a sample. These are events that will happen. Some day. Some even have disturbingly high probabilities of happening within our lifetimes.
We are not prepared for them in part because they are overall unlikely, in part because we don't want to think about them, and in part because the cost to prepare for them all is untenable.
Who wants to propose instituting California building codes on the entire midwest including retrofitting old buildings? How about all but evacuating the west coast of Washington and Oregon? (Insert your own Antifa joke here.) Who's up for spending a few trillion dollars on asteroid countermeasures?
Which brings us back to our pet vaccinations.
Yes, absolutely, look into it. It sounds kind of silly on the surface, but it really isn't and I assume we could explore the possibility of pet vaccines for relatively modest costs and little to any disruption of our lives. It's a reasonable calculus.
But, that's not all they want.
Meanwhile, the group is also calling on governments to continue enforcing strict control measures, such as mask mandates and social distancing orders, to reduce the evolution and spread of any new COVID variants.
At some point, we have to return to normalcy, and normalcy does not mean a risk-free bubble world absent any concerns, worries, or risks.