Spiders seem downright sweet compared to mosquitos these days.
We’re sick of zika stress, too. Maybe you were awoken last week by police cars roving the midnight streets of Washington Heights with a loudspeaker, announcing the spraying of adulticide to kill Asian tiger mosquitos. Or maybe you slept through it.
Whether it’s fearing mosquito bites or worrying about chemical exposure, if it’s on your mind, it’s a real concern.
The most recent antidote we found was, unexpectedly, a photo essay in The New York Times. Because sometimes it’s easier to turn to artwork to make light of what is otherwise too heavy or hard to explain. Including bug spray, and the slippery slope of parenthood.
Called “Witty, Irreverent Photos That Satirize Family Living,” the NYT article wrote about artist Julie Blackmon’s work: “At first glance, the images seem idyllic, like modern-day Norman Rockwell paintings. Yet underneath, there is something slightly askew—details just a little bit off that both highlight and satirize the conflicting expectations of parenting.”
And that’s where the bug spray comes in. And when parenting is not for the faint of heart.
Keep in mind, these photos were staged for artistic purposes. Even so, here’s the artist’s commentary about her photograph Airstream: “Spraying your kid with bug spray is one of those modern-day parenting contradictions. Protective, yet violent—because it’s poison.”
Even with artistic license, that’s harsh. But I’m sure it resonates with many of us.
So, what can we do? For starters, we can select a bug spray that we like. Some even smell nice. For the bug spray we can’t control, like the kind administered from a white pick-up truck at night by men in protective suits (it happened), we can keep ourselves informed.
Because knowledge is power. When we’re better informed, we feel more in control and more at ease. Naturally less stressed.
Try these suggestions, below, for staying in the loop with the latest. And let us know what else is working for you. Because we all have much to learn from each other.
• Read hyper-local news about Washington Heights and Inwood, via DNAinfo
• Track mosquito spraying and other surveillance data, via a new website from the city
• Learn about emergencies and planned incidents, via alerts from Notify NYC, the city’s official emergency information source