Sunday, 23 November 2008

Unwanted houseguests

After last week’s food poisoning by the Cryptosporidium infection in Helsinki, I came to think about other pests that occur more often than they used to earlier.

Head lice, cockroaches and other insects are more common now in Finland, than they were earlier. Their decline has been said to have been because of better personal hygiene as well as to the more frequent house cleaning chemicals and better routines, until a couple of decades ago. Since then, with the busier lifestyle people tend to clean their homes less often and the more frequent travelling to far away countries has most certainly had a negative effect on the occurrence of head lice and cockroaches. Or should I here be saying "a positive" effect?

Here I am finally trying to get to my point of today, why then is it most often people who lead an alternative way of life, such as more "back to nature" with saving the environment, leading a "greener" life and alternative views opposed to the consumption society more often get the pests?

Like for instance, an acquaintance of ours called me to happily and told me she had head lice. Well, I guess that would not have been my reason to call anybody, only the ones that could have been infected if I had had any, but she just told me her news like it was something everybody was yearning to have!

To the story I must add that she then worked in a Steiner school, a philosophy that is more in tune with Mother Nature, and maybe they either are less prone keeping up a good hygiene or their soaps, shampoos and washing detergents are too environmentally friendly to kill such house guests.

Houseguests I would hate to get, and even when just thinking about it, it makes my scalp itch! Even now, years later.

And to tell you the truth, it was no joyride, as about at the same time this acquaintance of ours rang me, we had had a friend of the offspring’s on a sleep-over with her own accompanying guests in hair. She was decent enough to ring me about it when she afterwards discovered she had lice. So off to the pharmacists I went. No fun there, just serious business with the lady pharmacist sneering at me when I asked for and bought waste amounts of lice shampoo, enough for two rounds, as a prophylactic. Just in case, for the whole family to kill even the tiniest hint of chance of getting an infection.

All bed linen, covers and pillows hats, scarves and winter coats had to be washed and detoxified as a precaution and I was absolutely knackered after all the cleaning and washing. And thought never again!

And here we go again, it really bugs about this incident, the same girl with lice infection in her hair visited us a couple of weeks later, and as it was winter time and all use hats, scarves and winter coats, well I had to go over all our winter clothes that had been hanging in the hallway, once again. Very nice she rang me again and told, but why could she not have told us beforehand, as she apparently knew before, so I could have made the proper precautions?

At least my detergents and shampoos were up to the job, no head lice turned up in any inspections combing any hair in this household, so far.

So, keeping fingers crossed.

And pepper, pepper touch wood.

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