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

Our throw-it-away culture

Like all grandparents, my late grandma would call food 'tsampa rimpoche' and any fuss made about it would invite everyone's sneer and scoldings. Food is always treated with respect and is never wasted. "If you waste food in any manner," she would admonish us. "One day food will discard you and you will go hungry." 
What remained from the previous meal would be turned either into porridge or sometimes leftover rice would be dried in the sun. The dried rice would then be fried into puffed rice and consumed with cups of suja. When there was so much food left, especially during big events, leftover rice or kharang would be mixed with a small amount of yeast and brewed into ara.  
The only thing that I can vividly recollect from my primary school days is how we would be hungry most of the time. Food we were served was hardly enough to tickle our throats. We would be sent home only once a week on Saturdays and that was our opportunity to replenish our popcorn s…

Utpal Academy - Bhutan's first All-girls High School

Welcome to Bhutan’s first all-girls school. Isn’t that wonderful news to all our parents? Certainly, as a parent of a one-year old daughter I am excited about the coming of a school exclusively dedicated to the needs of girls. Our girls need special treatment, which we can for sure entrust the responsibility to Utal Academy, Paro.
I really like the name – Utpal – in Buddhist world, Utpal is another name for lotus flower, which is believed to grow from mud and yet blossoms into a beautiful and majestic flower. It stands for purity and many deities are depicted holding flower Utpal, more prominently Jestusn Dolma, the Goddess Tara. Symbolically, it also stands for the transformation of our girls. What an apt name for the school!
The Principal’s message posted on the academy’s website promises providing our young women an “opportunity to participate fully in a wide range of extracurricular activities to develop skills and qualities that will lead to successful and fulfilling life.” That’s…

Bloggers are not journalists

To say bloggers are not journalists is to say oranges are not carrots. Bloggers are not journalists. That’s true. But can bloggers become journalists? Maybe. Can journalists be bloggers? Yes. In fact, it would be only proper and appropriate for journalists to blog their opinions as opposed to being 'politically' correct all the time. So why call oranges carrots when they are what they are?
Well, it is true – bloggers have no training in journalism. That’s why they are bloggers. And for the same reason they are  not journalists. No bloggers have ever claimed what they blog can qualify as ‘journalism’.  We all do what we love the most and give our best in whatever we are doing either reporting news or blogging. 

Journalists do it as careers. Bloggers do it (mostly) for hobby and out of passion. Most journalists also do it with great passion - that's true. The journalists get paid for doing their jobs while bloggers derive pleasure doing it. Journalists cover (report) stories eve…