Here’s a new spin on the spread:
Vancouver’s health officer thinks people are getting bed bugs in Vancouver because they go to the Downtown Eastside and do “naughty things,” Canada’s CBC news reported yesterday.
Bedbugs are spreading across Vancouver. And the city’s chief medical health officer is blaming promiscuity for the itchy problem.
“People occasionally go to the Downtown Eastside and do naughty things,” said Dr. John Blatherwick.
Now the infestations are spreading from Vancouver’s troubled neighbourhood to the city’s residential areas.
“People take them back to their spouses and their spouses wonder where they got their bedbugs from,” said Blatherwick.
Politician Lorne Mayencourt (mentioned yesterday)
… stresses it’s important to treat the entire building, not just the affected suite.
Both Blatherwick and Mayencourt say educating the public on the symptoms of bedbugs and how to get rid of them will go a long way toward stopping the spread.
I agree that education is crucial.
However, telling people that they’re getting bed bugs by sleeping around in rougher neighborhoods (and perhaps he meant not just promiscuity but also prostitution?) is not the full story. Plenty of Vancouver citizens, from every neighborhood, walk of life, and economic class, are being hit with bed bugs. You can bet the bugs are going in all directions.
Education requires giving people the full story. (And also being direct rather than using cryptic phrases like “being naughty”. I have to admit a distrust for medical doctors who use euphemisms like that.)
Chastity is not going to keep bed bugs from spreading. Any activity that means people are interacting (whether it’s a house of worship, a homeless shelter, a conference, the opera or a ball game, riding on buses, planes, trains, and taxis, going to work) is going to spread bed bugs.
I also seriously do not think the chief medical health officer should be associating bed bugs with poverty; that went out in the 1940s. It is undoubtedly harder for the poor to get rid of bed bugs, and so they linger much longer. But the solution is to help fund that, and to fight for change.
But don’t kid yourselves–some of those bed bugs are undoubtedly going in the other direction, from the nice neighborhood to the not-as-nice. As long as more affluent folks think they are safe (as long as they keep it in their pants), bed bugs are going to keep moving around.