The month of May kicks off tick and Lyme season. You probably didn’t realize that, though, which is why the federal government’s bastion of disease prevention, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, decided late last week to remind everyone with this helpful tweet:
As you can see, the agency’s official account tweeted a picture of a poppy-seed muffin — solid American breakfast fixture — crawling with camouflaged bloodsucking ticks. It was meant to be educational, to warn people that tick-borne illnesses like Lyme are actually on the rise. But the question “Can you spot all 5 ticks in this photo?” struck people as a little hostile, and perhaps even like a veiled threat.
Twitter users were rightly terrified by the hypothetical scenario of a delicious pastry that could also inflict a serious neurological disease, and hundreds of people promptly made their feelings known to the CDC. Didn’t matter that an army of ticks has probably never actually invaded a poppy-seed muffin:
After enduring three whole days of outrage, the CDC seemed to finally regret causing so much trauma. It apologized in a follow-up tweet that, yes, also included a bad insect pun (look, it’s an agency filled with science nerds, okay?):
Which … fine, but now the CDC needs to put its best medical minds on the task of fixing the epidemic of poppy-seed PTSD it’s created. Muffins, bagels, dressings, breads, pound cake, whatever — anything with those tasty little black dots is now ruined forever.