Sometimes I do stupid things. Yesterday was one of those days and I both regret it, yet don’t. Let me explain.
I live in America. I’m Australian. I’m used to spiders and snakes and gross things like that, and even though I hate them, I’m used to them. I’m not used to squirrels or skunks or raccoons or mountain lions, coyotes, armadillos etc. I’m not used to them but I’m getting more acquainted with them.
I have a squirrel that lives in the pecan tree in my backyard, leaning over the back deck. He is a noisy and messy little critter, but cute. He gets angry at me if I dare go out my back door, and until recently I didn’t care. But then I did something stupid.
I watched a video on rabid animals in America. The first was a rabid squirrel. Poor little thing. Then a rabid raccoon. Then a cow and pretty much any other video I could find. But I didn’t stop there. I watched a documentary on the effects of rabies on the human body. It was not good. Not at all.
I learnt that American bats are often rabid and they are small with tiny little teeth. They can bite you and you wouldn’t know. Until the rabies sets in of course. So now I’m too scared to go outside. What if there’s a rabid bat or squirrel?
When I contemplated my fear I realised that I’m stupid to go outside at all. The rabies is one thing but do I really want to risk a face off with a coyote or a mountain lion? No. I’m not equipped. I wouldn’t even know what to do if a raccoon or squirrel lunged at me. This is not Australia. I know Australian wildlife.
So what am I to do with my new rabies fear? I’m not sure really. I do know that rabies isn’t a thing in Australia but it sure is over here. I had covid and it was crappy, but what about rabies? Between one and three Americans contract rabies from an animal bite every year. The good news is that the deaths aren’t nearly as high. The last guy who died of rabies over here was bitten by a rabid bat and died, ironically, on World Rabies Day. That story is terrifying.
There’s so much to dislike about rabies and rabid animals. There’s so much of me that wants to go back to rabies-free Australia and wrestle with a huntsman in my shower every second day. But I won’t do that. I’ll learn to live with my new fear and try to limit my contact with rabid animals. Well any animals really. It’s not worth the risk.