Shock and Gnaw

According to the Chinese Zodiac, it’s the year of the rat. And like their human counterparts, 2020 has turned what began as an ordinary rat tale into a horror show. Life near residences continues to look pretty normal, but the action in business areas has taken a prolonged commercial break; and instead of working together against a common foe, rats—confused, angry, and panicked—have turned their ire and desperation towards one another. Bobby Corrigan, an urban rodentologist who has a PhD in rodent pest management, says that “pest control professionals in the city have sent him photos of rodent cannibalization and slaughter. ‘They are going to war with each other, eating each other’s young in some populations and battling each other for the food they can find.'” (OK, it’s not a perfect metaphor for how humans have behaved, but then again, rats don’t have Twitter as an outlet.) Mostly, this story is a reminder of the far reaching tentacles of the pandemic. It will touch everything before we’re done. NYT: CDC Warns of ‘Aggressive’ Rats Searching for Food During Shutdowns. (It’s nice to know the CDC hasn’t been silenced on all topics…)

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