COVID-19 in deer
(Mike Allen)

Sorry, Bambi, but you can’t see Thumper for a while.

That’s right, COVID-19 has been found in white-tailed deer, which could mean even more trouble for people. With a bit of precaution, however, we should be just fine. If you are hunting during this year’s deer season, just remember it’s not advisable to have a close conversation with a deer, and you should wear a mask if you do.

In all seriousness, there seems to be some concern about the virus mutating in the deer populations and then transferring back to humans. Talk about gain of function testing outside of a laboratory.

As with any other virus like this, it will be monitored, likely more closely than usual, so the threat level from COVID-19 in deer appears to be low for now. (The U.S. Department of Agriculture reportedly says there is no evidence that eating the meat of infected deer can transmit the virus to humans.)

I’m now picturing a solution where we equip the hunting community with COVID-19 vaccine darts and let them go wild over the winter.

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