DETROIT — If you can’t stop touching your face amid coronavirus concerns, one Michigan pet supply company has a recommendation: the cone of shame.

Mike Palmer, 43, owner of Beverly Hills, Mich.-based Premier Pet Supply, donned a recovery cone – typically used to keep dogs from scratching or biting injuries – in a company Facebook post on Saturday.

His public service announcement: Pet cones, available at his company’s eight locations, could help patrons follow the recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus by not touching their face.

“You’re welcome,” he said in the post.

Contacted Monday, Palmer laughed when asked about the post.

He wasn’t trying to make light of anyone dealing with the deadly, global COVID-19, but wanted to find some humor in a scary situation, he said.

“Sometimes, in many very serious moments, I think we have to find something to laugh about or something to show that we can still have a sense of humor through it all without overdoing it as far as worry,” he said.

He doesn’t think wearing a dog cone is the best way to prevent the illness, though seeing people walk around those would be funny, he said. It might also show they have a good sense of humor.


Palmer thinks some people have been over-the-top in their precautions; he found a Costco cleared out of water and Clorex wipes when he sought to buy them to prevent influenza spread at his store.

However, germ and illness prevention is important, and Palmer said he hoped his post done in jest would also remind patrons of good prevention practices.

Lynn Sutfin, public information officer for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, said in an email that she can’t speak to the effectiveness or practicality of using a cone for illness prevention.

The following tips can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases, however, she said:

  • Stay home if sick.
  • Always cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or sleeve.f
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water aren’t available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Get an influenza vaccination.

©2020 Detroit Free Press

(Anika Varty / The Seattle Times)

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