July 27th, 2004

Dancing Thru

It's started -- West Nile

"We don't want people to panic if they see birds falling out of the sky. Less than 10% of the people who get it even develop noticable symptoms."

Well, isn't that a reassuring human-centric attitude. :^P But it was the health department spokesperson, so I suppose it's forgivable. But I find the idea of "Birds falling out of the sky" upsetting, and if people don't, there's something wrong with them. Oh, it's *just* birds...yeah, the entire ecosystem is about to get trashed, and all people think about is whether humans get it. That doesn't work for me. Birds, horses, whatever else. I can only hope that eventually the Darwin effect kicks in, and we get the population of large birds (particularily hawks, owls, etc.) back up. I will not only miss the hawks in my neighborhood, but that means Ming will have to do extra duty in catching the local rodents.

I remember when myxomatosis went through California in the '60's. It was very upsetting to find all the squirrel and rabbit corpses everywhere, in our little rural town. There were seven just on the vacant lot between our house and the neighbor's. We didn't see a grey squirrel for two years. But they eventually came back. But it was very upsetting. I expect this to be similar.