The curse of dengue | Daily News

The curse of dengue

A municipal worker sprays pesticide in a drain during dengue fever eradication work in Colombo. - AP
A municipal worker sprays pesticide in a drain during dengue fever eradication work in Colombo. - AP

When the leader of the outlawed gang met the famed US Marshall Wyatt Urp in a saloon, he asked him whether he is still a Marshall. Wyatt replied he has retired. When the outlaw asked Doc Halliday, the consumptive ex-dentist, who often admitted his constant coughing led to the loss of his practice as a “teeth puller”, whether he too has retired, Halliday walked to the piano, sat on the stool, and began playing a dirge. Likewise, the retired chairman should have played a mournful lament on his serapina as the gang entered to meet him at his modest Nawala residence, for the damage they had done to the poor with their strikes. No lament was required for the rich. Their wealth cushions them. The white coated hypocrites bleed them and use the poor for practice.

But what we witnessed was a bent obeisance. Why respect a gang who has dragged, a once proud and honoured profession, into the gutter? No other profession would have tolerated the muck of the committee. The membership would have gone, like Guy Fawkes, to the headquarters and burned the place down. As the song adequately proclaims “Don't cry for me Argentina. It won't be easy. When I try to explain”.

Frequent strikes

When the cabal (secret political group) who has turned trade union action into a worthless, rusty tool by their frequent strikes, which the people are now used to, laugh and ignore, met the chairman of the SLMC at his Navala residence he told them he has already retired and warned the cabal not to strike at a time when the country is in the grip of a dengue epidemic.

In addition, if the former chairman of the SLMC had reminded the cabal the disease is stoppable at the gate, by persuading them to campaign against the free “silara” bags, whatever their thickness, simply by forcing the markets to put out a notice “bring your own bag”. Target the bags, not the wrappers and tiny lunch boxes. They are players in the margin. Nothing can be wrapped in them and thrown on to the streets. Banning them will deprive the poor mothers who eke out a living, crucial players in Minister Senaratne's vote bank of 6.2 million votes. Why kill the goose that lays the golden egg? The volunteer canvassers were referred to in the epistle I wrote two years ago soon after the downfall. How they intercepted many a voter and told where their ballots must be deposited.

Scientific truth

Get out of Wall Street on to Main Street before drafting laws that effect the consumer. When you talk of microns you are just another ignoramus. Microns are in the domain of micrometres, not rulers and in labs not in streets. How standards have plummeted from the days Tom Brown was a schoolboy.

People are dying. Why waste time leaning on experts whether they be from the WHO or pundits who have forsaken the country and live in Hong Kong who is alleged to know all about the vector of the mosquito. Learn to play the notes first. Mozart can come later. Like the way actor Peter Lorre often said: “do the easy way, Johnny”. There will be squeals from the Capitalists who manufacture the deadly bags. Ignore them. We have nothing to lose but our chains. That is the scientific truth.

Max Plank is a favourite Nobel laureate because his footprints are everywhere in the land of mathematical physics. A constant of the Universe is named after him. The German Erwin Schrodinger divided the Plank constant by 2 pis to obtain the wave function, a function which is the bedrock of quantum theory. For which he too later won the Nobel Prize for physics. Max Plank was the originator of quantum theory and one of the most important German physicists of the early 20th century winning the Nobel Prize in physics in 1918.

A quarter of the GDP of advanced countries is accounted for by quantum based industries. I would be delinquent if I do not mention, even though I enjoyed my sojourn at the University of Ceylon, professors there could not adequately explain the reason why properties of elements repeat themselves in Mendelefs Periodic Table. Quantum theory sweetly explains using the orbitals of electrons.

Plank observed a scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light but rather because its opponents eventually die and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it. Plank went on to observe Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are part of nature and therefore part of the mystery that we are trying to solve.

The pure rationalist has no place here. Religion and science are fighting a battle in an incessant, never relaxing crusade against scepticism, dogmatism, disbelief and superstition and the rallying cry in that crusade has always been, and always be “On to God”.

I was enamoured with that insight of Max Plank hence its offer to the reader. 



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