If anyone on board is getting any relief, well, relatively speaking, it is the tallest couple, aka, Mr and Mrs Giraffe, for at least they have their heads sticking out into the ocean breeze (gusty wind really) while the Aedes carry out their (supposedly) lethal, low altitude air strikes on all the couples of all the species on board that are known to mankind. Which begs the question, wasn’t there some equivalent of the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) that could have denied boarding rights to the red-tailed flying falcons? And mind it, it is no exaggeration to compare the red-tail to the red-cape of Superman, for the red “NS1” logo, surely visible under a magnifying glass, stands for “One Nefarious Superman”…
Yes, yes, a healthy couple of every species must be on board, but does that mean every VARIANT too? Weren’t the Anopheles enough for posterity—to drive us insane with their nocturnal philharmonic orchestra at the symphony hall called the human earlobe? Weren’t they enough to maintain the ecological balance and keep the toads happy? We humans would gladly have traded dengue for malaria, as it came to America choosing between Clinton and Trump.
But no, they, the Aedis, made it on board, probably sailing first class into posterity. I can well imagine how they drove every other species on board up the wall, or should I say, the railings, as they played history’s first day and night match—Aedes during the day, Anopheles at night. And no, no clapping! That could squat the maestros—the Anopheles, the Culex and especially the Aedes must be allowed to continue with their all you can suck buffet. For these couples are on a triple date, this is their honeymoon on the Carnival Cruise and no one, not even the mightiest, or the strongest, or the tallest, or the fiercest, are allowed to touch them with a 10-foot pole of a mosquito zapper.
After the deluge, the Ark makes landfall. The mosquito lives through time to become our blood relative, literally speaking. For they have our blood in them, and our blood has our formalin. That’s not to say that to the mosquitos, the spray is totally bull, in fact, to them, it is actually Red Bull.
So, like every year, the Aedes storm troopers are back—better, stronger, faster. In comparison, Count Dracula pales into insignificance. Amidst all the negatives around us, they present us with the only thing that is positive—NS1.
But we have taken measures, albeit reactively. After all, if it ain’t broke, why fix it? It’s too much effort to be proactive, right?
So, aside from the blitzkrieg of sprays, combatant mosquitos are being brought in from the UK, perhaps as part of Brexit, which don’t’ bite, but sure can give love bites as they are expected to be enamoured with the local female Aedis (sorry local Aedis studs, you lose out to your fair and handsome, Anglo-Saxon, expat counterparts), then have khaki coloured kids. And guess what, the progeny will not carry the dengue virus.
Yay! But that is the grand scheme. It’s like we are building luxury apartments in Baridhara (which, by the way, apparently has the largest concentration of Aedes larvae), asking them to be occupied by people for free and not only that, providing them around the clock room service, again, gratis, and then, all of a sudden, we want them out of there.
That is the hospitality we have accorded to the Aedes—providing them with a plethora of stagnant water to breed in. Perhaps we can check under our refrigerators for the “likes” accorded by the Aedes on to the accumulated condensates as often as we check the “likes” on our Facebook statuses. Perhaps we can take care to ensure the Baldha Gardens we are building on our balconies and rooftops do not end up becoming Hatirjheel. Perhaps we can keep an eye on the water reservoir that we are using to build 10 storied apartments, hoping that the Aedes won’t fly that high up (think again!). Let’s take an effort beyond just washing our cars and then drying up our compounds, only to have the roads inherit the stagnant water. Let’s take a peek at our flower vases…There is SO MUCH we, as individuals, can do to not create the romantic bedrooms for the Aedes.
But for now, they are here. So, let’s now get Odomos, if we can afford it, that is. For it is now a rare commodity fit to be displayed only in glass showcases under lock and key, under the scrutiny of CCTV cameras, sold as “bhoris”, weighed on the gold scale, smuggled in through Dhaka Airport by way of human orifices, transported in G4S armoured vehicles, escorted by armed guards…The Odomos seller is in a blood sucking contest with the Aedes. There is one difference between them though, the Aedis sucks blood only during the daytime.
Anyway, we play the game of Russian Roulette, hoping against hope that we are not on the lunch menu of the Aedes. Meanwhile, go have some green papaya, supposedly it’s good for your platelet count. As to what you want to increase in your blood stream, the choice is yours—platelet or formalin…
Naveed Mahbub is a former engineer at Ford & Qualcomm USA, the former CEO of IBM & Nokia Networks Bangladesh turned comedian (by choice), the host of ATN Bangla’s The Naveed Mahbub Show and the founder of Naveed’s Comedy Club.