keeping safe. staying alive.

Road sign used in Slovakia - Other hazards. keeping safe

Keeping safe is a goal to be desired.

I am not referring to safety in the streets though I know that the crazies are out there and road rage is a real thing. I do not refer to gun violence though we are getting our fill of that in our everyday news. Nor do I care to discuss the need to childproof and generally safety-proof our homes though unthinking folks are still experiencing kids getting entangled in blind cords, adults tripping on loose carpeting, seniors falling and not being able to get up.

As my friend Dave Hundiak pointed out to me, all those instances take second place to the fact that we, to stay alive, must stop eating the food, drinking the water and breathing the air. And, thus, my current rant.

We in Michigan are more than familiar with the “water crisis” that hit Flint. The entire city was placed under a ban of the drinking water and is still, several years later, experiencing difficulties. In 2018, the state of Washington reported at least 14 counties with warnings about drinking water. Water warnings have additionally been posted for Idaho, Montana, California, Nevada and Arizona.

The problem of air pollution has worldwide warnings being offered. Because of drought and climate change (do not tell the government), there are many states that have pollution problems. Of the top 10 most polluted cities, six are in California; the other four are in Utah, Alaska, Idaho and West Virginia. According to reports, more than two of every five people now live in countries with unhealthy levels of pollution.

The World Health Organization published a report of the top 20 global cities deemed as having unsatisfactory air quality. Seven of those were in China, five in India, four in Iran, two in Pakistan; the other two were in Botswana and Mongolia. With volcanic eruptions in Hawaii, smog increases in California and heavy fires yearly in our West, breathing is problematic at best.

Hungry? Better think twice about what you ingest. Recently, we have experienced many food recalls due to contamination — real or perceived. France had a raw cheese-E. coli scare in several regions; Canada has experienced salmonella cases found in chicken; Utah has supplied many states with “deadly” romaine lettuce; egg pollution resulted in a huge recall (several million).

In addition, salmonella was found in a caterer’s food in Georgia and in dried coconut in eight states. Oysters in the U.K. were found to contain norovirus. WebMD has published lists of foods “most likely” to cause foodborne illnesses. Among them are chicken, beef, turkey, sprouts and raw flour. Sure leaves a lot of choices, no?

The Dave Matthews Band recorded a song “Don’t Drink the Water;” Simon Fellows, author, penned a book titled Don’t Breathe the Air.

Meanwhile, “Have a nice day!”