Lyme Disease Is The First Portent Of Climate Change
Climate Change

Lyme Disease Is The First Portent Of Climate Change

My existence is proof that no one is "safe" from environmental calamity.

71
Lyme Disease Is The First Portent Of Climate Change

A bug the size of a pencil-tip bit me and my life has never been the same since. Lyme disease is a horrific, enigmatic illness that is hard to detect and treat. Oh, and it's a bigger threat than ever before. A worry for most of history that has largely been confined to the Northern Midwest and New England has spread to most of the country. Why? Two words: climate change.

Ticks thrive and live in warm, wooded environments, posing a specific threat to places that have high summer temperatures and forested topography. This used to mean that the lukewarm Pacific Northwest, the arid Southwest, and other places of the country (and world) with cooler summertime weather and less moist, treed areas were nearly immune to Lyme Disease. With Seattle summers at times reaching 90 degrees, that just isn't the case anymore. Scientists have found ticks in mountainous United States regions where they have never been seen before. Lyme is expected to have a 21% rise by 2050, we have to start taking notice.

Additionally, warmer winters are allowing ticks in some places to survive winters. Ticks and other bugs used to die off each winter, keeping their population somewhat in check. A temperature hike now means that ticks are completing a full lifecycle and can reproduce, creating a huge increase in the number of ticks present outdoors. It also means that small animals (mice, squirrels, rats, etc.) are surviving the winters and reproducing. These mammals often carry ticks, therefore climate change has increased both the host and the parasite. We are truly in an apocalyptic situation with Lyme.

I cannot possibly go into every detail of Lyme Disease in this article, and I cannot even begin to explain the true terror of living with this disease. But, to explain very simply, Lyme is a connective tissue disease that can attack muscles, joints, and every bodily organ. If left unchecked it can take over your entire system. And, it often is left unchecked, not only are most doctors at a loss at how to treat the disease due to lack of studies and misinformation, Lyme is commonly misdiagnosed or mistreated, leaving patients with false answers as to what their problem truly is.

I have had Lyme Disease for four years, and I feel like a living red flag of climate change. I am the future if we don't curb our environmental influence. If you are one of the many who believe that climate change won't really affect the affluent countries of the world, you're wrong. Sure, maybe we won't starve, go without clean water, or be breathing in toxic air (at least not right away), the disease will spread.

There are three things that need to be done:

1. The government needs to put money into Lyme Disease. Let's research it, work on developing vaccines, etc. This, of course, can only happen if we stop the CDC's misinformation about Lyme Disease. Find out more about this on my personal blog.

2. Take major steps to end climate change. That includes making environmental policy your number one concern when choosing who to vote for in 2020.

3. Prevention. Be careful, be aware, and educate yourself on the scary reality that you can quite easily get this disease.

We tend to see litter, melting glaciers, and dying animals as a sign of impending climate change; like a warning label. But those are just the tip of the iceberg. What we fail to see is that climate change is already here. Climate change has already happened to me. I am climate change. Every Lyme patient is a walking, breathing, living effect of the climate change disaster. It is here. It is around you. It is everywhere. See that. Feel that. Act upon that.

Your neutrality for climate change is utterly unhelpful. Your support of a government that takes away the healthcare we need and takes away the environmental policies we need is utterly unhelpful. Your ideology that because of your privilege as an American, you won't be affected by climate change is utterly unhelpful.

Ticks are climbing mountains now, don't think that they won't reach you. Mother Nature is a great humbler, she is an equalizer, people are just animals in her eyes, she sees no distinction between lawyers and food-stamp reliers. The money and gaudy prestige that protects you from the resource-based effects of climate change cannot deter this endemic threat. We are all at risk.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Swoon

119 People Reveal How The Pandemic Has Affected Their Love Lives, And Honestly... Relatable

"I haven't been able to get out of the 'talking phase' with anyone."

The reality is, there's no part of life the pandemic hasn't affected. Whether it's your work life, your home life, your social life, or your love life, coronavirus (COVID-19) is wreaking havoc on just about everything — not to mention people's health.

When it comes to romance, in particular, people are all handling things differently and there's no "right way" of making it through, regardless of your relationship status (single, taken, married, divorced, you name it). So, some of Swoon's creators sought out to hear from various individuals on how exactly their love lives have been affected since quarantine began.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

Dear Closeted Latina,

You were never alone.

Remember how the Latin world got rocked when Ricky Martin came out?

Keep Reading... Show less

It wasn't until I hit 23 years old that I started getting hangovers. It could've been from two glasses of wine or even a margarita at happy hour, the next day, consider me bed-bound until further notice.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Feel A Lil' Better: Because Air Travel Looks Different Now

If you have to travel, you can — you just have to take a few extra steps.

No matter how good (or bad) you'd describe your health, one thing is for sure: a little boost is ALWAYS a good idea. Whether that's reading a new, motivating book, or listening to a song that speaks to your soul, there are plenty of resources to help your health thrive on any given day.

As we are learning how to live our lives in the midst of a pandemic, one big question being travel. States that were initially labeled coronavirus (COVID-19) epicenters, like New York and New Jersey, are extra cautious in how freely residents can travel and then come home. Other states may not have the same travel restrictions as the epicenters, but one thing is for sure — no matter where you fly within the United States, that trip will look different than your usual summer vacation. Sure, it can still happen, you just need to take a few more steps to make sure your trip will go smoothly.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

Top 10 Santana Lopez Performances On 'Glee' That MADE The Show

In honor of Naya Rivera's passing, I compiled a list of her best performances as Santana Lopez as "Glee".

FOX

Hearing about the tragic passing of the beloved actress, singer, and model Naya Rivera was tragic to say the least. "Glee" was a huge part of my life, Santana being one of my favorite characters, so it was shocking to hear the news.

Keep Reading... Show less

The Caribbean is a place where people go for vacation, but if you set out from a cruise ship you miss out on all the beautiful culture. Their exotic beaches are nothing without their zinging food and hospitality. Locals in the Caribbean are warmhearted with a zest to live life to the fullest.

This is exactly where most of their words and phrases come from, having a good time. I definitely enjoyed myself living in the Caribbean, but it's not always about lounging. They get work done too and I've learned proper phrases for accomplishments.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

What's Coming To And Leaving Netflix In August For Your Summer Viewing Pleasure

Just in time for another your end of summer binge-watch list.

Flower Films, Warner Bros, New Line Cinema

August is here, which means we will be losing some of our Netflix favorites but gaining some new ones. Here is a list of TV shows and movies we will be losing and gaining on Netflix during August.

Keep Reading... Show less

According to Urban Dictionary, a "simp" is defined as "a man that puts himself in a subservient/submissive position under women in the hopes of winning them over, without the female bringing anything to the table." There are many other definitions for a "simp," but basically it's shaming men who are kind to women without getting anything in return.

Let's just stop attacking nice men. Work out your own issues, don't project your shortcomings onto another man. What happened to the brotherhood? Y'all can lie for each other, but can't raise each other up? You guys can encourage murder, gang rape, and violence against women — or at least stay silent about it — but can't let your brother know it ain't cool when they bring you down for being nice to women with no expectation?

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Living With Bipolar Disorder Is An Everyday Battle, But I'm Fighting It

I went from depression, to anxiety, to bipolar disorder.

I've thought about how to write this since my diagnosis. I've thought about what kind of feelings it might bring up from my mom, former friends, and even myself. I've rewritten it a thousand times in my head, but never could quite get the words onto my notepad, but tonight I'm going to sit down and write it.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Self-Love Is The Best Love, That's Just How It Is

Do you ever feel like you can't please everyone? Self-love will do the trick.

I've been feeling a little down lately, with the understanding that friends don't last forever and that I can't always please my parents. Life has been rough for everyone lately and it's not easy to stay happy and optimistic during these times. But I promise you, you are on this earth for a reason. You are here because God formed you, to love, and to be loved.

When things are tough, realize that you have yourself always. No one can take that away from you. You will always be you. No matter who you are, what you believe, or where you've been in life, at the end of the day, you are you. You can love you, therefore giving you one reason to stay here on this Earth.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

Ranking 'The Umbrella Academy' Cast By Their Powers

I'm ranking the characters of Netflix's show "The Umbrella Academy" by how cool their powers are.

With the new season of "The Umbrella Academy" coming out tomorrow, I took the time to revisit the first season to refamiliarize myself with the characters.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments