At present time, it seems life as we know it’s gone silver-screen surreal.
So what could the world really do with about now?
India’s got something on offer: a pandemic rendition of a little Planet of the Apes.
That would be literally little — the menacing creatures concerned are usually between 19 and 25 inches long.
But they’re big trouble. Officials said Friday that a wild gang of rhesus monkeys went bananas on a lab assistant, stole the worker’s batch of COVID-positive blood samples, and longtailed it out of there.
Just what we need.
The attack occurred this week when a laboratory technician was walking in the campus of a state-run medical college in Meerut, 460 km (285 miles) north of Lucknow, capital of Uttar Pradesh state.
Dr S. K. Garg, a top official at the college, confirmed the movie-worthy medical mugging:
And there the miniature marauders went — out into the great big world.
Fortunately, though, they’re — ya know — monkeys:
One of the monkeys was later spotted in a tree chewing one of the sample collection kits, the Times of India reported — adding that test samples from the patients had to be taken again.
A troop of monkeys today ran away with coronavirus test samples from Meerut Medical College.
Doctors have again collected samples from the three patients, there is fear in the area as the suspected samples of Covid-19 patients are still with the monkeys. pic.twitter.com/O5ThGe9ihN
— Tauseef Sheikh (@tauseefjourno) May 29, 2020
Agence France-Presse relays that the remaining — and undamaged — kits were later recovered.
But doesn’t the bizarre occurrence seem right at home, given the Tinseltownish tone of the times? While the Zombie Apocalypse keeps us monitored and masked, while police arrest people for going to work, while murder hornets are migrating and rats are rising up, while smoke fills the proverbial air…doesn’t it just feel right?
https://t.co/3D9bE4nObt . You can't make this stuff up.
— Naomi Datta (@nowme_datta) May 29, 2020
The monkeys only needed to reach the woods, organize, and somehow plague us all with their chemical concoction.
BREAKING: Marauding monkeys attack lab technician and steal #Covid_19 tests.
'We now go live to Meerut in northern India for more on this rapidly developing story . . . '#Covid19 #COVID pic.twitter.com/igtAc4LLqW
— Garvan Grant (@garvangrant) May 29, 2020
And society’s Wuhan Flu flogging has set a fertile stage for our furry, opposing-thumbs-possessing friends.
Courtesy of Sky News:
[The incident] is the latest example of the highly intelligent, red-faced rhesus macaques taking advantage of India’s nationwide lockdown to combat the spread of coronavirus.
Reports have shown them congregating in parts of Delhi normally crowded with humans.
It sounds like we need to keep our social distance:
People have been advised not to feed the monkeys while the pandemic continues, with experts suggesting doing so could cause the virus to mutate and infect primates.
A senior biologist from the Tamil Nadu Forest Department previously warned that if this did happen, the mutated virus could have a devastating impact on primate species and other wildlife which prey on them.
“The point is, we have very little understanding of the virus,” a senior biologist for the department explained to The Hindu, “and it is better to limit our interactions with wildlife till there is more research done on its effects on non-human primates and other animal species.”
Bottom line — in India, there’s been a whole lot of monkeyin’ around.
More from Sky:
Reports have previously emerged of the primates causing chaos in Delhi, snatching food and mobile telephones, breaking into homes and terrorizing people in and around the Indian capital.
They have colonized areas around the city’s parliament and the sites of key ministries, from the prime minister’s office to the finance and defence ministries, scaring both civil servants and the public.
“Very often they snatch food from people as they are walking, and sometimes they even tear files and documents by climbing in through the windows,” said Ragini Sharma, a home ministry employee, in 2018.
Back to the assault and escape, Newsweek had a different cinematic reference — it announced that “28 Days Later Just Became Real…”
Either way, 2020 feels like the year we entered the sci-fi universe.
2016 was perhaps a dramedy.
How about 2021 takes us out of the sophisticated film genres altogether and lands us squarely on ultrasafe ABC Afterschool Special territory? If you ask me, we could use the break.
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