Squirrels vs. LTC: The Final Battle

Gary Tetz
Gary Tetz

While we've been focused on trivialities like HHS and CMS appointments, declining U.S. dementia rates and electing an orange President, rabid squirrels are terrorizing long-term care communities nationwide.

Okay, squirrels are almost never rabid. And apparently it's only happening in one state — Florida, of course. And I only know of two such attacks, both at the same senior living community. And it actually may have been the same rampaging squirrel both times. And at least one squirrel is dead.

Still, it's a threat to our way of life, and we should probably overreact. This is clearly the most dangerous rodent loose in Florida since Mickey Mouse, and that big, beautiful squirrel-proof wall can't be built soon enough as far as I'm concerned.

My main problem with this illegal squirrel invasion is how we're being played for suckers by the Rodent Kingdom. Even President-elect Trump weighed in on the burgeoning crisis. “They're clearly not sending us their best,” he said, over a dinner of frog legs and Mitt Romney. “Many are biters and scratchers, though some, I assume, are good squirrels.

Long story short, here's what happened. Please note that as always, where information isn't readily available, I've filled the gaps with hyperbole and conjecture without telling you what's true or isn't. That's my personal pledge as a pretend-journalist.

Anyway, a giant, furry, squirrel-sized monster apparently attacked a resident outside a Florida facility, and the terror-stricken victim immediately ran back indoors — with the zombie-rodent in hot pursuit. No warning appears to have been given to those inside, probably because in most states it's still illegal to shout squirrel in a crowded activity room.

Anyway, several residents were then bitten as well, the squirrel was compassionately captured and tossed back into nature and 911 was called. Later that week, however, a second brutal attack occurred at the same facility, and this time the perpetrator met his well-deserved, BB gun-inflicted demise. As McKnight's has definitely reported, “It's not clear whether the squirrel killed on Monday was the same squirrel involved in Thursday's attack.”

So that's the story. For further related reading, might I suggest the similarly tragic and true story of the unfortunate hiker who was forced to punch a beaver in the face. And please stay indoors until I tell you it's safe.

Things I Think is written by Gary Tetz, a national Silver Medalist and regional Gold Medal winner in the Association of Business Press Editors (ASBPE) awards program. He has amused, informed and sometimes befuddled long-term care readers worldwide since his debut with the former SNALF.com at the end of a previous century. He is a multimedia consultant for Consonus Healthcare Services in Portland, OR.

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Things I Think

Things I Think is written by longtime industry columnist Gary Tetz, who resides in Portland, OR. Since his debut with SNALF.com at the end of a previous century, he has continued to amuse, inform and sometimes befuddle long-term care readers worldwide.

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