Corana-loneliness and cabin fever are the other epidemics we're all being subjected to. But when everyone is holed up at home, feeling lonely and bored, there's one thing we can count on for both companionship and entertainment: our pets. Certain cats might try a little social distancing of their own--quite possibly because they're simply not used to their humans being in "their" space so often--but usually they, too, come around. Once felines realize that having a person at home around the clock might equate to more frequent feedings, you'll see their fuzzy faces.
And dogs can be the perfect excuse to get out of the house-following all the proper guidelines, warnings, and hand sanitations, of course-for a brief walk around the park or the neighborhood.
Now is an excellent time to adopt a pet. We can all use the extra company in this time of isolation, and animals are also known for helping to relieve stress-of which we have plenty these days. Animal shelters around the country are reporting increased pet adoption rates in the days of the pandemic. In fact, animals are in such high demand that in New York City--still considered the epicenter of the virus, though New Orleans has pretty much taken over that title of late--they've nearly run out of adoptable pets. According to an article on the Crain's New York Business website, the shelters there have nearly been emptied of their supply of furry friends. Housebound people, seeking moral support and suddenly finding themselves with extra time on their hands to devote to a creature, now desperately want to adopt or foster an animal.
This is a good thing, and places like the Louisiana SPCA can help you find your own four-legged companion locally. The LA-SPCA needs our help, as they struggle to care for the animals in their shelters during this financially challenging time.
Here's another, related fact: Businesses which specialize in home delivery of pet supplies, such as Chewy.com, are thriving in the current environment, while so many other businesses are tanking. This means that you can get your pet supplies, whether for a newly adopted friend or one who's been a part of the family for ages, delivered right to the safety of your own home.
There are a lot of reasons to adopt right now: You need a friend around the house. Animals don't care if you stay in your PJs all day. Since you'll be on social media a lot these days, animals are great Facebook fodder and that new puppy will make you be the envied poster of all your pals. And for a boredom-reducing activity, try training your cat to do something interesting--or something at all. Or try teaching your old dog a new trick (they say it can't be done).
But before you adopt a pet, just ask yourself this: When you get busy again, when you go back to the office or the gym or the bar--whenever that much-awaited time might come along--will you still be able to care for an animal? Pets are a long-term investment, not something to do on a whim. So, make sure that if you want a pet to help you through these rough times, you pay him back with a forever home.