Independent Voices

Whatever we do, let’s not make the cure worse than the disease! Indiscriminate spraying, using toxic substances on the land and on ourselves is panic, not intelligence.

There are precautions you can take: wear long sleeves, stay away from areas with standing water, use repellent that is not toxic, eliminate standing water around your home, keep your screens repaired, don’t go out at prime biting times. The odds are pretty low that you will be infected, so enjoy the outdoors. That’s why we live here!

Not being an expert on insects or medicine, I hesitate to speculate on actions that need to be taken concerning mosquitoes and the West Nile virus. In any case, I expect our government officials are conferring with such people to work out a program to alleviate the problem.

It is my hope, however, that they will subject the experts’ recommendations to a good dose of common sense and listen to those infested with the mosquitoes before considering a proposed solution. In too many cases, an expert will come up with a complex solution while those involved see a much simpler response.

I am not a big fan of spraying. However, I think that we must spray to keep those pesky critters from spreading this deadly disease. We must also inform everyone of the need to use insect repellent, wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts, and avoid being outside at dawn and dusk. People can clean up any objects in their yard that could hold standing water.

While West Nile virus poses a genuine threat, it isn’t to the general populace. Insecticides are a threat to the health of all of us so it doesn’t seem reasonable to fog the air and contaminate water with poisons when some simple precautions will protect those vulnerable much better.

Also it is so late in the season that at any time freezing weather may descend and end any threat of mosquitoes this year. I say cover up, use repellent and breathe easy.

I believe the cautions given to citizens in Garfield County are adequate at this time. The danger is not sufficient here to warrant spraying or other mosquito eradication programs, which pose their own health risks.

To put the risk in our area in perspective, it is still more dangerous to drive an automobile. More people have died in auto accidents in this area in the last two months than have contracted West Nile. We humans want the world to be a safe place, and the truth is, it isn’t.

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