Over the years, I’m sure we have all seen the videos of city rats dragging away a slice of pizza or an Egg McMuffin. Rats will eat whatever is available. They are survivors. Welcome to the COVID-19 pandemic. Prepare to eat.
When the quarantine first began, Oregon was experiencing an unseasonably warm and sunny March. We spent hours outside completing yard projects requiring heavy physical labor. Now that the gray skies and drizzle have returned, we are feeling the boundaries of our cage and the close proximity of the food dish.
Someone referred to COVID-19 as the equivalent of the “Freshman 15”, where students new to college and the freedom of their own food choices, gain 15 pounds, but instead we will gain 19 pounds...at least. It is a strange juxtaposition of scarcity and additional desire to wallow in comfort eating to alleviate stress.
The uncertainty of supply chains and nebulous quarantine duration sends many of us to the fridge/pantry to cope. Grocery stores are out of staples such as flour, rice, beans, pasta. Rational behavior would mean stretching the home food supply to last as long as possible. Initially, we consciously reduced our portion sizes by 25%. This has made for many leftovers and some unusual dinner combinations, but there is a feeling of victory in our restraint.
King Rat has suddenly manifested food insecurity issues coupled with a desire to stress eat. He is naturally energetic and has the need to feed every 2 hours as he burns every single calorie
he consumes. Queen Rat was genetically crossed with a sloth and is able to subsist off of minimal calories, thanks to the ability to store every last one as fat. This ability paired with the inability to be near someone who is eating without joining in, is going to result in one rat with COVID-19, or the new mutation COVID-25.