Buddy The Dog Died Of Coronavirus — So Can Dogs Get It Now?

Elly Belle

It’s official — the first dog to test positive for COVID-19 in the U.S. has died. Buddy, a 7-year-old German shepherd, was from Staten Island, NY, and passed away on July 11 after dealing with the disease for three months, according to National Geographic. Reportedly, he most likely caught it from his owner, Robert Mahoney, who also tested positive earlier this year. 

But wait a minute, wasn’t it just a few months ago that we were told that dogs couldn’t contract coronavirus? Yes, but since then the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released information that a few pets, including cats and dogs, had been infected with the virus that leads to COVID-19 after the animals were in close contact with people who had COVID. While pets can contract the virus, however, it’s less likely that they can pass it on. 

While experts say it’s very rare for pets to contract the disease, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Fewer than 25 dogs and cats have been confirmed to be infected with coronavirus in the U.S., according to the USDA, with the most cases in New York and Utah. Currently, it’s not mandatory to get animals tested if they live in homes with people who have tested positive for coronavirus, so there’s no way to know exactly how many household pets are actually infected, or if specific animals are at risk. 

Veterinarians who looked at Buddy’s medical records also say it seems like he had cancer, although it’s unclear if that made him more vulnerable to coronavirus, or if it was the virus that made him ill. Either way, dogs and other animals are not immune the way experts once said they were, and Buddy’s health records help to illuminate how little experts actually know about how the virus affects animals, so it’s probably good to take precautions.

If you have a dog, it’s recommended that you avoid dog parks or public places where many people and dogs gather, and that you also keep your dog at least six feet away from other people and animals when walking them. The CDC specifically recommends that if your pet tests positive, you should isolate the pet from everyone else, including other pets.

Unfortunately, it may be difficult to tell if your dog is ill considering that not all pets show signs of sickness. The agency also recommends looking after your dog’s symptoms the same way you would pay attention to your own, and to call a veterinarian as soon as needed.

Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?

19 Women On The Long-Term Effects Of COVID-19

Kimberly Guilfoyle Under Fire With Trump Campaign

The Sad Reason Trump Scrapped A Federal COVID Plan

More From

  • Uber Says Gig Workers Are Their Own Bosses — But Courts Disagree

    According to some estimates, over 50 million people today may be engaged in some type of gig work. In the side hustle economy, gig work has become a necessity to make ends meet while also providing some flexibility that a typical 9 to 5 wouldn’t. But gig workers are facing an identity crisis now, especially those working for popular app-based companies like Uber, Lyft, Postmates, or Doordash. Are they their own self-employed bosses, or are they employees? Yesterday, a California court gave a firm answer, granting a preliminary injunction that orders Uber and Lyft to immediately reclassify drivers as employees. Though Uber has said it will appeal this order, the decision could have serious consequences for these companies, potentially even leading to a temporary pause in services. Just hours before the injunction, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi published an op-ed in the New York Times arguing that there should actually be three types of workers as far as the law is concerned: people who work for an employer, people who are self-employed, and then something else, something uniquely for gig workers.This Goldilocks of employment statuses would, according to Khosrowshahi, solve a problem of the current binary, which “forces every worker to choose between being an employee with more benefits but less flexibility, or an independent contractor with more flexibility but almost no safety net.” It’s Uber’s argument for why their workers should stay classified as independent contractors, and not be deemed as employees the way a number of laws have been declaring in recent years. But what does this really mean?What are independent contractors?The essence of an independent contractor is that they have control over how their work is conducted. They call the shots — but that means that they’re outside the reach of most employment protections and benefits. And there’s a lot of those, says Terri Gerstein, Director of the State and Local Enforcement Project at Harvard Law School’s Labor and Worklife Program. “That’s minimum wage, overtime, workers’ compensation — which gives you medical care and lost wages if you get sick or injured at work — the right to organize collectively bargain, form a union, anti-discrimination laws, social security, paid sick leave laws, all of them,” she explains.In theory, because independent contractors are their own bosses, they have the means to simply not engage in business under terms they find disagreeable. But of course, it often doesn’t work out that way. Workers in various industries have long been miscategorized as independent contractors, because it comes with much fewer obligations from companies — and so it’s cheaper.Are Uber drivers independent contractors?Uber has long touted that, as a driver, you can be your own boss. And it’s true that being an Uber driver means you can technically set your own hours, driving as little or as much as you want. But “being your own boss” also implies that you can set your own rate, pick which passengers and routes you drive, and not be subject to supervision. Generally, though, Uber drivers can’t control most of these things. And in cities like New York, drivers can also face a quota system that affects whether they’re given the opportunity to log on and drive at all.Earlier this year, Uber started allowing California drivers to have some control over their fares and passengers — but this was a direct response to a new California law called Assembly Bill 5 that clarifies who exactly counts as an independent contractor. Laws like AB5 use what’s called an “ABC test” to determine if someone is an independent contractor. It asks A: if the worker has control and direction over what they do — as Uber’s recent changes in California attempt to address. Then it asks B: if the work is distinct from the company’s main business. If you’re a graphic designer hired by a firm that provides graphic design services, you’d likely be an employee under this test. If you’re a graphic designer hired by a rideshare app to retool its logo, there’s a stronger case for being an independent contractor. Uber, for its part, has maintained that it’s not a transportation company, but a tech platform, which has been met with much skepticism. Lastly, the test asks C: if the worker ordinarily operates an independent business in this line of work, with other clients and contracts. As in, do you have a business driving people around outside of Uber?Even before AB5, states have been using ABC tests, and court rulings have declared that Uber drivers aren’t independent contractors. These rulings are costly for Uber, who was found to owe $649 million in unpaid unemployment taxes in New Jersey last year. A UC Berkeley study estimated that in California, Lyft and Uber should have paid $413 million into the state unemployment fund.Do gig workers lose flexibility if they’re employees?The crux of Khosrowshahi’s argument is that if Uber drivers were employees, they’d lose flexibility. “Uber would only have full-time jobs for a small fraction of our current drivers and only be able to operate in many fewer cities than today,” he writes. “Rides would be more expensive, which would significantly reduce the number of rides people could take and, in turn, the number of drivers needed to provide those trips. Uber would not be as widely available to riders, and drivers would lose the flexibility they have today if they became employees.” An Uber spokesperson clarified to Refinery29 that becoming an employee would mean not being able to set your own hours, which the company says its drivers overwhelmingly prioritize.But is the flexibility tradeoff a fact of life? “There is nothing in any employment law that says you can’t have an employee and give them flexible hours,” says Gerstein. “So I don’t know what else to say about that.” She says that this line of reasoning has become something of a “trope” with businesses. “[They say] if you become an employee, you give up flexibility — that’s because they’ve built their business model this way.”Why does it matter?“When workers are misclassified as independent contractors, it has a lot of serious implications,” says Gerstein. That includes all the protections mentioned above, which have been especially crucial during the pandemic. The CARES Act expanded unemployment benefits to cover self-employed workers, but if Uber drivers aren’t true independent contractors anyway, they shouldn’t have to rely on a temporary emergency expansion to receive their legal benefits. Nor should taxpayers have to fund the entirety of their unemployment, when other employers dutifully pay into an unemployment fund for employees.Being an independent contractor also dramatically shifts which costs are paid by workers instead of companies. “There are tools that employees have to use in order to do their work,” says Gerstein. In some states, like New York, workers are explicitly protected from having to pay for them. “That’s treated as an unlawful deduction from wages. Uber has shifted many of the costs of doing business onto their employees. The employees are the ones who buy the cars, who often find the financing and buy them specifically to drive with the company, the workers pay for the gas, the workers pay for the insurance, for repairs.”In the case of one full-time rideshare driver in NYC interviewed by CNBC, the driver could make up to $72,000 a year from rideshare apps. But between inspections, registration fees, insurance, gas, repairs, and maintenance, he was looking at $17,000 in out-of-pocket expenses — not to mention the self-employment taxes he needs to withhold and pay each quarter, in order to be eligible for benefits like social security and Medicare.Then there’s the fact that we’re dealing with a public health crisis right now. “If they were employees, they’d be covered by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act,” says Gerstein. “And the company would be required — not as an act of charity or goodness — but actually required to provide safety and health equipment.” Uber has worked to provide PPE to its drivers, but right now, there’s nothing requiring them to do so. Lyft, meanwhile, came under fire this year for allegedly selling PPE to its drivers instead of providing it for free. Uber suggests a “benefits fund”In the op-ed, Khosrowshahi suggests that, instead of classifying gig workers as employees, companies should “establish benefits funds which give workers cash that they can use for the benefits they want, like health insurance or paid time off.” He claims that a driver in Colorado, “averaging over 35 hours per week would have accrued approximately $1,350 in benefits funds in 2019. That’s enough to cover two weeks of paid time off, or the median annual premium payment for subsidized health insurance available through an existing Uber partnership.”Even if this math worked out in certain cases, it doesn’t seem to address that drivers may be paying upwards of $17,000 a year in expenses — or the value of the vast legal protections employees enjoy that contractors do not. It also seems to be saying that drivers need to commit a certain number of hours to get something meaningful, like health care, out of the benefits fund.“It’s a way to try to seem reasonable, I guess, but it’s not reasonable,” Gerstein says. “They’ve been sued by the Massachusetts AG, sued by the California AG, and several county attorneys in California.” In both Pennsylvania and New York, Uber drivers have been determined to be employees for the purposes of unemployment benefits. “The tide is turning, and I think they probably feel like they have to do something.”Khosrowshahi does suggest that new laws should protect independent contractors from discrimination while on the job, and says that all gig work companies should provide “medical and disability coverage for injuries incurred on the job.” While this would be a step in the right direction, it would be a half-measure that avoids the wide gamut of protections that being reclassified as an employee would give automatically.“So many businesses large and small, all over the country, manage to follow these basic safety net laws we have about their obligations toward workers,” says Gerstein. “The diner down the street or some mom-and-pop hardware store can manage to have employees and pay unemployment insurance, get workers’ comp, pay overtime. And the big companies throw up their hands and clutch their pearls and make dire prognostications and say that they’re unable to do it. It makes no sense.”Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Uber Requires Drivers To Take Selfies With MasksHow Uber & Lyft Are Responding To CoronavirusUber Is Launching A Grocery Delivery Service

  • We Asked A Natural Wine Advocate Which Online Shops Stock The Good Bottles

    In this installment of "Where The Experts Shop", Katherine Clary, founder of the Wine Zine , and author of the newly published book Wine, Unfiltered shares her go-to digital haunts for natural wines. While I’ll always maintain that going into a wine shop, chatting with the shopkeeper, and dutifully inspecting each bottle before purchasing is my preferred way to shop for wine, the current state of the world is not allowing us to have nice things. Fine! No matter: it’s 2020, and small, natural wine-focused shops around the country are shipping straight to your door. The one thing I love about shopping for wine online is the opportunity to really spend time reading descriptions, which translates to learning about the wine. (Yes, that’s right, you can get a something of a wine education while shopping for wine—if you’re doing it in the right place.) Unfortunately, wine labels aren’t required to list the many additives that end up in most wine, which gives us all the more reason to shop from trusted sources that will tell you what a winemaker believes in, or at least how they make their wine. Low sulfites? Native yeast? Hand-picked grapes? Woman-owned? You’re about to be a ~~kid~~ adult in a ~~candy~~ natural wine store. The best online shops love what they do and are eager to share their knowledge about an esoteric grape, region, or winemaker on their website and in their newsletters. Come for the wine, stay for the facts about foot-crushing and donkey-plowed land. Shop from the comfort of your couch for a hazy, orange-like-sunset fizzy pet-nat (a natural method of creating a lightly sparkling wine) or the chilled, dusty red you’ve been meaning to make your house wine. These are the shops I’ve bookmarked and think you should, too. I also encourage a sign-up to their newsletters, where you’ll sometimes get subscriber-only discounts or early notifications about new arrivals. Katherine Clary is a wine writer and editor focused on low-intervention and natural wines. She is the founder of the Wine Zine , a biannual print publication about natural wine and the author of Wine, Unfiltered . At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?12 Wine Glasses Made For Outdoor Happy Hours10 Black-Owned Wine Companies To Shop From TodayThe New Sustainable Wine Brand To Know About

  • Kayla Itsines’ New No-Equipment Workout Is A Quarantine Dream

    Streaming workouts are not new, but in the age of coronavirus, they're more appreciated than ever. After all, exercise offers the perfect release valve to the stress and restlessness many of us are feeling right now — but most gyms across the country are still closed (or should be). Hence, people want at-home workouts, preferably ones that can be done with little-to-no equipment. Enter: Kayla Itsines' new BBG Zero Equipment programming. Kayla is already a royal in the realm of at-home workouts. That's thanks to her Sweat app, which offers up under-30 minute sweat sessions for everyone — from HIIT-lovers to post-partum exercisers. Her new gear-free plan is designed for people who missed their chance to stock up on dumbbells pre-COVID — and whose free floor space can barely fit a yoga mat. "Many women are struggling to adapt to a new fitness routine at home and don’t have the knowledge or confidence to workout without equipment," Itsines tells Refinery29. "My BBG Zero Equipment program removes the complexity of equipment from home workouts and gives women the practical tools and guidance to work out effectively using their own bodyweight." Like Kayla's other programs, BBG Zero Equipment will be available exclusively through the SWEAT app. And to celebrate the new programming, Kayla created a 13-minute express workout that's free for Refinery29 readers. On each of the first three slides here, you'll see one circuit of two exercises, meant to be performed three times in a row. The last slide is a high-intensity "finisher" that's performed just once. There are no breaks built in between circuits, but if you need a breather, take one. For a more detailed overview and a breakdown of each move, please download the Kayla Itsines x Refinery29 PDF here. Don't let the fact that you won't be hoisting dumbbells fool you — this workout will leave you sore tomorrow. Happy sweating! Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Kayla Itsines Creates A 2020 Workout Plan For YouSitting All Day? Here's How To Wake Up Your ButtAn Exclusive Core Workout From Karena Dawn

  • We Wish-Listed The Best Deals From Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale

    Nordstrom didn’t get to where it is today by being fairweather or flaky. The 119-year-old retailer is a bastion of reliability and loyalty, with winning customer service and plenty of perks for the shoppers that support the store with returning purchases. Such devotion is most evident during its annually anticipated Anniversary Sale: when the company treats its most dedicated acolytes (aka customers with Nordstrom credit cards) to a members-only sneak peek of the premium deals a full two weeks early. Today, the sale opened up to “Influencer” cardholders — the third tier of Nordy Club membership. Even though we’re not cardholders, we were still able to comb the Anniversary Sale selection for the best bets thanks to Nordstrom’s “Wish List” feature, which enables anyone to preview sale prices and compile a pie-in-the-sky shopping list. And you are a lucky Nordy cardholder, then you’ve come to the right place for a streamlined edit of deals worth snagging in advance. Ahead, we overturned a plethora of scores across fashion and beauty that will have you filling up your cart to capacity; whether it’s a pair of lime-hued shearling slippers, a sunflower-yellow thong, or a pair of sporty palazzo pants that are as chic as they are comfy. At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. All product details reflect the price and availability at the time of publication. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?What We Know About Nordstrom's Anniversary SalePre-Anniversary Deals From Nordstrom's Made SaleYou Haven't Seen Eileen Fisher Like This Before