Skip to main content

Those Pollen Reminders

Picture: Kuensel
It is spring here in the capital and Thimphu is heating up after cold winter made its exit. At this time of the year, many people especially living on the southern belt of the country are envious of the place. And here this weather is giving us its own share of heat. And with little or not much rain the place is dusty. 

But of late there is this poplar tree or cottonwood become nuisance to us all. The sources on the Internet say that these trees are found throughout the North America, but they are here in Thimphu too. The pollens the trees produce are cotton-like "white fluffy cloud" that enters our eyes, nose and in our cars. Many have complained of getting allergies.

Here is what I have found on the net - (source: http://www.livestrong.com):
Many plants and trees require insects and other animals to reproduce, while others use a combination of different methods. Poplar trees, by contrast, rely entirely on the wind to reproduce. To make up for this inefficient method of reproduction, poplar trees produce a prodigious amount of pollen during their reproductive season. This accumulation of poplar pollen results in white, fluffy clouds that resemble cotton. Despite the visual appeal of this seasonal sight, the broad distribution of poplar pollen creates a range of problems for allergy.  
Otherwise known as allergic rhinitis, the symptoms of hay fever strike sufferers after exposure to airborne allergens. While these also include dust and dander, hay fever is primarily associated with the springtime production of pollen by trees attempting to reproduce. For people who are allergic to poplar pollen, this can result in burning or itching sensations in your throat, mouth, nose and skin; a runny nose; sneezing; headaches; coughing; a sore throat; and teary, swollen eyes. 
Although poplar allergies typically manifest as hay fever, some allergy sufferers may experience more severe symptoms. Inhaling the airborne pollen particles, for example, can lead to breathing difficulties and potentially trigger severe reactions in people with asthma. Similar to pink eye, a condition known as allergic conjunctivitis can arise from exposure to poplar pollen. Many of the symptoms of this condition are similar to, but more severe than, those of hay fever. If you experience conjunctivitis due to poplar pollen, you may experience red eyes, overwhelming itching and burning sensations, puffy eyelids, watery eyes and stringy eye discharge. 
And the city officials have started to cut down these "allergy-trees" that have grown by the roadside, along the highways, near the buildings. It is good to know that the officials are taking responsibilities to do this. But I do not get this reason why only now when the pollens have started to spread in the air? What took them so long? Didn't they notice the trees before or have they grown dramatically quick to miss their attention? The city officials were engaged in felling the trees likewise the other year. But this year they needed 'pollen-reminder' to wake them up.

This makes me think that we are waiting till the last moment for everything. We do not need pollen grains to be fully visible (and even start to fall off the trees) to remind us of its harmful effects to people's health. So many other things are likewise unattended until the last minute. For example - an entrance door leading to a children's park needed a death of a child to remind us of the need for safety. I am not really sure if it is repaired at all after that fateful incidence.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

We killed our Golden Goose

One of our most significant events this year is that of Bhutan’s exporting of eggs to India. A few years ago, we were importing them – in truckloads. This goes to show that we have the potential to grow and progress as a country, provided we put in a little more effort and work harder. Did you know, Bhutan today has 422,648 hens and produces 251,678 eggs a day? 
In July 2016, Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority (BAFRA) banned the import of chilies from India reasoning that the laboratory tests conducted confirmed presence of pesticides. And right there was our opportunity to grow on our own. The news was like winning a lottery and it sure was a boon to many a Bhutanese chili growers, as they now had ready market san competition from cheap chilies from across the border.

Then came the ‘off season’. That is when the price of chilies unreasonably shot up as high as Nu. 300-400 per kg. It was unreasonable and daylight robbery, many people protested. And then people took to the …

Can we build energy-efficient houses?

Before we know it, it is winter again! Almost! 
And like all winters this winter will be unforgivingly cold. Of course, some people think winter cold is far less severe than the extreme summer heat the likes of which you experience in Phuentsholing or Gelephu. The reason they give is that while you can dress in cool and warm clothes in winter to beat the cold, the summer heat has almost no solution. Being naked does not help. Fair argument, I must say, but some people who can afford air conditioners in their homes might argue that the answer to the summer heat is in installing the equipment. 
But I think the answers to both the extreme summer heat and unbearable winter cold rest with the energy efficiency of the buildings we live in. 
Rooms in some of our apartments are unusually tall that in order to change a fused electric bulb requires you to literally climb onto two or three tall tables stacked onto each other. It takes three to four solid men or women to hold these tables in place; …

A Vibrant Village

What is a vibrant village? What does it take to create one? Can a village vibrancy prevent and curb rural-urban migration?
A village is vibrant when it has happy and content people. A village is vibrant where content people help each other. A vibrant village is where everyone is involved in or concerned with building a strong community. Such a village is connected with a well-maintained road that provides farmers with access to the outside world. 
A vibrant village grows its food and has no need to import anything from outside. Such a village booms with economic activities and here farmers look beyond subsistence farming. That is not to inject greed; it is rather, to encourage hard-working people to work harder. These farmers have at their service useful and modern farming tools to ease their work on the farms. In a vibrant village, farmers have the right to harvest their crops without having to share them with wild animals. 
A vibrant village has adequate and modern day facilities. Ele…
01 09 10