Remember a few months back when we were warned about packages containing "mystery seeds" showing up at U.S. homes? Given the choice, I think I might prefer to deal with a box of mystery seeds.

Although the seeds packages from overseas turned out to be much ado about nothing (it was more of a scam on Amazon than a serious attempt at getting us to unknowingly plant invasive species that would take over the country), it still kind of freaked people out.

I've got to believe that reaching into a recently-delivered box that was supposed to contain Christmas presents and finding an unwanted "bonus" would be pretty freaky, too. Although this particular event seems to be a one-off, and not a widespread phenomenon.

The Associated Press reports that a woman from East Moline, Illinois had ordered some gifts for her mom from Kohl's a number of weeks back. Nothing out of the ordinary, just some flags for the garden.

“I pulled out the flags and I told my aunt, ‘Look how cute these are,’” she said. “I pulled out the packing slip and then noticed something deeper inside the envelope and pulled that out. It was a biohazard bag containing someone’s COVID-19 test specimen.”

It turns out that the flags came from what Kohl's called an "outside direct-ship vendor," and not from an actual Kohl's store. I think that's easy enough to believe, given how many name-brand companies use outside vendors to fill orders from their websites. The next time you order from Amazon, take a look at who they say will be fulfilling your order. More times than not, it's an outside "or a 3rd party vendor."

The Associated Press story says that the woman who placed the order is fine, and so is her mom. Kohl's has apologized, and I'm going to assume that there's an effort taking place to figure out how this sort of thing happened.

It could have been worse. The sample could have been one of those colon cancer test specimen boxes you pack and send in for analysis. That would have been pretty symbolic for 2020.

 

LOOK: Just some of the photos that capture the historic year that was 2020