It's time to get the bugs (mosquitoes) out
Until a few months ago, my life zipped along swimmingly, mostly because of a world view that was nothing more complicated than this:
One crisis at a time.
Seemed prudent. And there was a time the plural form of "crisis" confused me anyway.
But now that we're awash in crises, crises everywhere, let me take this opportunity to get flagged 15 yards for piling on:
If we have a high school sports season this fall, what guarantees do we have that it won't get hijacked again by those infamous mosquitoes carrying Eastern Equine Encephalitis?
Ah yes. The dreaded EEE. Remember last fall when we had no idea a pandemic was coming and the best we could do was sprint indoors by dusk? EEE was a veritable beach day by comparison to our new abnormal.
Still, there's a point to be made here. It may require Herculean effort and ingenuity to get sports going in some form this fall. And we don't need Morty, Mabel, Minerva, Maximus and Margaret Mosquito endangering anyone's safety again.
So I've attempted to inquire with Ledge Light and the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection about if/when spraying will begin. Here is what I have received so far:
Crickets. (I know. Wrong insect.)
One woman from Ledge Light e-mailed me back to say she was the wrong person to ask. She gave me the name of another gentleman who was apparently the right person to ask. But he hasn't responded. And DEEP? They might as well be in witness protection.
So if anyone from a relevant organization is reading this, I humbly suggest this: spray, spray, spray. Now. Avoid the Christmas rush. Chemicals are underrated.
I vowed never to use education-speak in my daily drivel. I will break my vow here. Spraying now to ensure an EEE-safe autumn is called being "proactive." We've all learned with COVID-19 the perils of being reactive. If we start now, we may bug those little buggers enough so that whatever games we're playing come September actually get played.
There is other mosquito news to report as well.
The Environmental Protection Agency approved an experimental use permit in May allowing Oxitec, an insect control company, to release genetically modified mosquitoes in Florida and Texas. The EPA granted the permit to control the spread of the Zika virus, which is passed through mosquitoes.
Hence, we ask the EPA and Oxitec whether we can create a genetically modified mosquito that wouldn't transmit EEE as well. (What, I can't ask?)
Think about it. We could all go to games without netting and a gallon of Off.
Morty, Mabel, Minerva, Maximus and Margaret probably wouldn't like all those foreigners in their midst. But we're all supposed to be practicing more tolerance and understanding. Sure, they're genetically modified, but they put their pants on one wing at a time, too.
Sorry to be so punchy. But I'm going to lose my sunny disposition if EEE threats sneak up on us again. They shouldn't. We should have learned something last year we can apply to this year. I am writing this from the context of sports. Lest we forget that EEE had dire consequences. People in our midst died from EEE. That alone should have us militant.
But for sports purposes: Kids and coaches have endured enough in the past few months. They don't need something preventable — or so we think, anyway — to ruin another season.
I'd like to hear from Ledge Light. From DEEP. I'd even accept talking to Morty at this point. The weather is getting warmer, trees have bloomed and it is mosquito season. It's time to start spraying.
This is the opinion of Day sports columnist Mike DiMauro