Sheesh, the news is getting a little creepy lately with all the zombie stories. If you don’t know what I’m talking about then consider yourself lucky. I’ll just tell you that there are some stories circulating around the web that make you wonder about the depths of human depravity.
The good news, at least as far as I’m concerned is that most of us are able to control ourselves. The bad news is that even those of us who can control ourselves are creatures of our environment so that even if we don’t believe in a meme or an idea floating about- like the idea of Zombies!- we are doomed to think about it if we’ve been exposed to others who are thinking about it.
It isn’t only memes or thoughts that change or redirect us. We are also subject to our physical environment and I don’t think we recognize how much that environment means to us and how it can impact us in our regular life. It’s only when we see a news story that talks about an environmental issue that we think about how our world touches us.
For example, I was talking about those folks who were suffering from skin eating diseases. More Zombie stuff right? It’s damn scary to think about that kind of thing isn’t it? Most of us don’t want to even begin to imagine what Miss Copeland was going through because it’s freaky. But freaky or not I’m thinking about it! I’m feeling a little worried about the conclusions some folks are arriving at. I’m wondering how someone as young and as apparently healthy as this young lady was suddenly was poisoned by bacteria.
My guess and mind you this is an uneducated guess, my guess is that there could be more danger out there in our lakes and streams than we know. I’m not talking about anything alien, instead I’m a little worried about something called blue green algae. This material also gets called ‘cyanobacteria’. It forms itself in clots of green, or black, or even red mats of growth in lakes and streams. It depletes the water of oxygen and it isn’t easily killed. It creates what we call “neurotoxins” and the bad news is that we are just getting to know how this bacteria harms people. We know that fish and shellfish are harmed, we are just beginning to collect data on how it hurts people.
One particularly distasteful blue green algae type is called Lyngbya wollei. This stuff likes growing in lakes ,and streams and ponds, and fish tanks, pools and hot tubs! I bet you are saying “Wait a minute, I don’t have a mat of lyngba wollei in my fish tank or hot tub!” And I’ll tell you that you don’t need a mat of it to have it! And having it can cause wounds in your fish, or gastroenteritis in you, or even worse damage due to the neurotoxins it secretes.
Bummer huh? So how do you stop it from ruining your life?
Ummmmm. Uhhhhh. Hmmmm.
Well, you could stay away from all lakes, streams, fresh water, brackish water and salt water…but I’m thinking that since that isn’t really possible maybe we should talk about avoiding shallow water with stinking mats of algae unless we are a professional water quality expert?
That might help.
Maybe we could stop assuming it’s okay to ingest pond or lake water. Maybe we could get into the habit of washing ourselves after swimming or after boating. Maybe we could get serious about our health so that our own immune system can knock out any militant bacteria.
That might help. It might not, but I guess it’s worth a shot.
You wanna worry about Zombies? Go right ahead. But if you really want to be scared? Worry about nature attacking you!
Have a great day!