LAKE MANGEUR D’HOMME, MINNESOTA — Terry Homocomedenti wasn’t really too nervous about the novel coronavirus pandemic up until about three or four days ago, he told us in a recent Skype interview. Terry is a 34 year old civil engineer in his Minnesota home town, doesn’t have any underlying health problems, and has a “decent sized nest egg” saved up, in case there’s a truly extended period of economic sluggishness or even a recession or depression. However, a couple of nights ago, Terry was preparing his dinner, and he realized that his special dietary restrictions will all but assuredly mean he’s hit extra hard if the orders to shelter in place in his community aren’t lifted at some point.
“As a cannibal, I completely depend on human protein for my survival,” Terry explained to us. “So, think of it this way — if you only eat poultry, and there’s a gnarly pandemic chicken virus in your area, what are you going to eat? If you only eat fish, and someone dumps a bunch of infected needles into your local lake, what are you going to eat until they clean that shit up? That’s the exact predicament I’m in now.”
While Terry was reticent to divulge where, exactly, he procures his protein from, he says that no matter what his source for meat might be, he’s found himself in “one hell of a dilemma.” If he’s unsure whether his meat had coronavirus, he won’t know the relative risk involved with eating it. While it’s probably true that grilling or cooking his prey would kill any viral infections in its flesh, he’s not sure he wants to take that risk.
“How am I supposed to know if the teacher I’m eating was infected? How do I know if the doctor whose ear I’m nibbling on worked in a COVID-19 ward,” Terry asked rhetorically. “There’s not exactly a USDA for human meat. I’m already kinda out there on a limb on my own, as it is. The uncertainty is what’s killing me, and it’s what’s stopping me from killing you. Er, I mean, you know, procuring my protein.”
Like so many Americans, Terry says he’s really hoping widespread testing for coronavirus infections will be rolled out sooner rather than later.
“Without good testing, I don’t know who I can eat, and who I shouldn’t eat,” Terry said. “Don’t I have the same right to untainted meat as the rest of you non-cannibals? What kind of world are we living in where a decent, hard working cannibal can’t depend on protein free from disease?”
Testing is vital, Terry says, but even with widely available COVID-19 testing, quarantines and lockdowns will still seriously curtail his ability to eat.
“Yeah, if the quarantine doesn’t lift at some point, I won’t be able to go out and, um, you know, find my meat,” Terry opined. “At that point I’d be left to either a) start eating non-human meat, gross, or b) start eating parts of my own body that I don’t really need. So obviously I’m hoping we get a vaccine for this virus before I have to gnaw my own pinky off, or whatever.”
Writer/comedian James Schlarmann is the founder of The Political Garbage Chute and his work has been featured on The Huffington Post. You can follow James on Facebook, Spotify, and Instagram, but not Twitter because Twitter is a cesspool.