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Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Deliver Us from Lyme's Disease -- a Republican Promise

Virginia Republicans have sent out a mailer promising to do all they can to prevent the spread of Lyme's Disease in the state.  They speak of how Virginia has been hit by “an epidemic of massive proportions.”

"How're they going to do that?" my wife asked.  "Go out and catch all the ticks?"

I've heard of going from the ridiculous to the absurd, but this campaign tactic still amazes me -- unless they've established that B. Obama is the cause of the disease, along with being responsible for the flaring of the sunspots.

 I seldom venture far beyond my property lines, but I am still in close contact with people who do get out into the world, massively.   Among them are my wife, and they have not informed me that Virginia is currently undergoing an epidemic of anything -- except for campaign ads.

I am naturally sanguine about this anyway, because I’ve been living in tick country here in west-central Virginia for 36 years, and every summer of those years has taken me out into territories where ticks hang out in abundance, even if lately it’s been no farther than into our two shrub and tree gardens.   There you will find a profusion of often shin-deep weeds and twigs reaching out to brush the unwary with countless leaves that could easily be harboring ticks eagerly waiting to catch a ride.   And in every one of those summers, including this one, I’ve gotten bitten so much that by now I ought to have long ago contracted Lyme’s plus the even older tick-borne disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, several times over.  Yet I have never contracted anything, nor can I recall hearing or reading about anyone getting a really, really serious case of either affliction in, like ...decades.  

Still, the Republicans pledge a multi-pronged attack on this vast, “existential threat.”  They propose to:

1. Improve synergy. But I wasn't aware that Virginia synergy had deteriorated.  By the way, what is "synergy?"  Is it something that you need to swallow first thing in the morning?

2. Increase awareness.   But, except for those locked up in closets in Norfolk, by now everybody in Virginia must've heard of Lyme's Disease, and it's not like dealing with ticks isn't an extended annual activity familiar to everyone who lives anywhere near  bushes and grass.  In fact, sometimes I can't help suspecting that it's become fashionable to say that one has Lyme's when actually they don’t.

A few years ago our neighbor across the road, K., was laid low for several days by Lyme's Disease, not here but while he was in New Jersey.   Things had gotten so bad there that the holders of the workshop he was attending had actually posted tick warning signs all over the place.  I guess that could be called taking a shot at "increasing awareness."  But that didn't help K. much, because those were New Jersey ticks.   There's a difference, and it must be one of the main reasons why so many New Jerseyans have seen the need to move here. 

3.  Support treatment.   But I can't believe that treatment is unsupported, even if it's not really Lyme's.

4.  Pass laws that keep doctors from being sued, because of the strong antibiotics that would be involved.  So is this vow really mainly about tort reform, a cause dear to all Teapublican hearts? But anyway, how does that help to avoid getting Lyme's Disease in the first place? 

It's getting a bit late in tick season for such a push anyway.  Hopefully the approaching winter will cool out those tiny, determined critters, at least for the next six or seven months. After all, Virginia is not comfortably tucked beween Alabama and Mississippi, as the Teapubs might desire it.  Those two swelter states are close, by crackey, but they’re not that close, and we’re glad.

That leads me to think that if they were really serious about this, the Teapubs would be wanting to join in to fight against climate change and global warming, instead of doing just the opposite, because what we need here in Virginia and in many other places is a long series of serious-no-kidding winters again, with spells of near zero cold and several big snowfalls.   Among other good things, that would go far toward cutting down the tick numbers.

That might not help right away, I admit, but it will eventually -- that is, if we don't all  migrate to the Yukon and the Northwest Territories in the meantime.  And, as I like to say because it always turns out to be true, the future is already here!


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