Sunday, November 20, 2016

180. On Dengue and Chikungunya mosquitoes

Two tiny creatures brought Delhi to its knees in recent months. The mosquitoes of Dengue and Chikungunya spread terror among the residents, keeping doctors and hospitals at their wit's end. No bed was available in hospitals- not even enough space for patients to sit and wait for their turn. Masks went out of stock. The joint pain lasted for months together after the recovery. I know some people who had Chikungunya in summer, but are not able to write even in winter.

It seems, the mosquitoes are so powerful that they can decide their timings for feasting on human blood and also the part of the body they would like to bite. Experts say, they bite during day time and their preference is for upper part of the body. Also, they prefer to breed in clean water, leaving dirty water to their not-so-privileged brethren. To me, they are akin to dons who alert their victims with impunity before striking. " I will kill you in your house at 10 a.m. tomorrow. Save yourself if you can" type warning. 

There was a time when people used to be scared of wild animals like tigers, lions and beers. No longer so. The mosquitoes of Dengue and Chikungunya have clearly shown that they are mightier. They do not require the cover of forest to intimidate and strike. They are capable of catching their victims in their homes. They can penetrate any security ring. No attempt to flee from them will work. Surrender, willing or unwilling, is the only option. They are so ruthless that even if you pray to them with folded hands not to bite you, they will not melt. They are determined and strong- willed. They will accomplish the task they have set out to perform.

I am lucky that I could escape their wrath this time. Part of the victory was due to the fact that I was wearing winter clothes in summer - full sleeves and trousers. I was hiding my body the way our heroines used to in old movies. I hope, the mosquitoes don't get smarter next year.

I have great respect and admiration for the Dengue and Chikungunya mosquitoes. They have once again proved that even small creatures should not be taken lightly. 

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