Zoey. (photo by Paula Hamilton)
Contagious diseases (flu, colds, or COVID-19) are spread person-to-person via direct physical contact, such as with another person who has the infection or touching something they have contaminated and then moving the virus to a face. Even more commonly, airborne viral microbes can be inhaled as they travel through the air as a result of someone nearby sneezing or coughing. These types of transmission require close proximity and are what “social distancing” is designed to curb.
But how to answer the question regarding other animals: “Can the virus be spread by a cockroach or a rat rummaging through garbage down the block, or a house fly that moves from a quarantined neighbor’s house to ours?”