Friday, July 22, 2016

Why aren't there any mosquitoes?

“Why don’t you have any mosquitoes here?” That’s one of the first questions we’re asked at our guest house in the mountains of Puerto Rico. I always answer, “I don’t know…I guess it’s because of the bats, birds, lizards and frogs,” but that may change very soon if they begin aerial spraying of Naled. Guests from Guaynabo in the metropolitan area say they no longer hear coquis (the endangered native frog and symbol of Puerto Rico) after trucks began street spraying.

Friends who have relatives in the health field say they haven’t seen an onslaught of Zika cases; in fact they haven’t seen any. I’m sure there are many cases, but I don't know anyone and I do know people who have had  Dengue and Chikungunya. I’m not usually a conspiracy theorist, but this situation is bizarre. Who created this widespread panic and why? Baseball games (major league) were cancelled; the Olympic swimming team refused to train here…what is going on?

that cute little carnivorous coqui
Puerto Rico is a small island and winds carry everything to us. I had ash from the volcano in Montserrat on my car and the Sahara dust wreaks havoc on many who suffer asthma or other respiratory ailments. Puerto Rico's situation economically is precarious and although I’m not an economist  certain things are apparent. The government is broke, but the people aren’t. People are working, shopping, going out to restaurants and paying their light bills. There’s an agricultural movement going on to grow our own food and buy local. The spraying of Naled will change all that. Organic farmers can no longer be organic and I’m sure health problems will arise. Aerial spraying is not the answer to the problem, if indeed there really is a problem.

I’ve watched two news conferences recently. The first had the governor’s cabinet heads gathered around while the governor spoke of the possibility of aerial spraying. All were commenting that if the CDC says the spraying is safe, then it must be safe. Since they have lost all fiscal control, they appear to have lost all sense of their own ability to make judgments or have opinions.  They stood there looking like deer in headlights. I wonder if that’s what happened when they tested Agent Orange here or during the 80s when “coca” (cocaine) was supposedly planted  at the University’s Experimental Agriculture Station so that an herbicide could be tested to kill the crops in Colombia…fighting the drug “war”. Puerto Rico should not be the guinea pig for the United States to test their poisons.
The next conference I saw was with the head of the Dept of Agriculture speaking to farmers. I tuned in to hear a local bee-keeper (yes, we do have bees on the island) say that last time there was spraying (not sure when), it took over six years for the bees to come back and would the Dept. of Agriculture insure this loss? …more deer in the headlight look.

Zika seems to have a mind of its own and is not following professional protocol. It’s spreading and not always in the ways health professionals have told us and is appearing in states not predicted. Zika is not new and since the majority of people infected aren’t even aware of their infections, unlike Dengue and Chikungunya, maybe the birth defects attributed to Zika are not necessarily caused by Zika. It certainly seems that more reliable information is needed about Zika. There is reliable information about Naled and it does NOT need to be sprayed over Puerto Rico.