Who would think that trees could shed so many twigs and branches? I love raking, but still. I decided to take a break and a walk down to the Cove. And oh, what a satisfying scene! A sapphire blue sea with no ice cakes. Finally.
On our way home a car pulled up and an affable stranger stepped out. She turned out to be a cottage owner over from Moncton to visit her elderly mother in Charlottetown, who was heading to the shore to breathe fresh air and renew her spirits. We told her that we had just walked past her cottage and everything was ship-shape. “Thank you so much,” she said. “We had some break-ins a few years back. It’s good to know that someone is keeping an eye on things.”
One topic led to another and I happened to mention the decal on her car that said: HELP PREVENT LYME DISEASE. “I have Lyme Disease,” she said. “I got my tick bite in Fundy Park twenty years ago and I’ve spent thousands of dollars on treatment. I’ll never be cured! Our governments aren’t taking it seriously enough.”
“That’s interesting,” I said. “The Women’s Institute is putting forward a resolution at the provincial convention about this very topic. I didn’t know ticks were common on the Island. I’ve had three tick bites myself but I got them in New York. Last time I kept the tick. Maybe I should take it into—into where?—to find out what kind of tick it is.”
“That’s just it,” she said. “Where would you take it?”
After a pleasant wide-ranging conversation we shook hands, our new friend went though the woods to her cottage and we returned home. I immediately went to my computer and looked up Lyme Disease. Sure enough, we have black-legged ticks on PEI and some of them are infected with the bacteria that causes Lyme Disease. Mice and birds carry ticks—heck, ticks can drop from the sky!
Next I looked up Women’s Institute RESOLUTION #2, LYME DISEASE, which reads in part:
WHEREAS a 2017 research study on PEI by Mount Allison University found black legged ticks infected with Lyme Disease in every county across PEI, and
WHEREAS ticks pose a serious health threat to Prince Edward Islanders…
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the PEI Women’s Institute ask the provincial government to initiate action to allow for effective testing, diagnosis, proper treatment and education about Lyme Disease and other tick borne diseases on PEI.
Who can argue with that? Hopefully our newly elected officials will take this matter seriously.
Why must our little Island paradise fall prey to plague and pestilence? Until a few years ago we didn’t have earwigs, but then we got ’em, and now we have ticks too. Who knows, there could some ticks lurking in this pile of debris… What’s that speck on the oak leaf? …Oh, it’s just a speck. Thank goodness!
P.S. Saturday May 11 is Roadside Cleanup Day—the day we make the Island even more beautiful. Tuck in your pant legs, put on a pair of gloves and climb into those ditches. And don’t forget to check yourself for ticks afterwards.