State of De-Nile

The City Has Launched a Chemical Assault on the West Nile Virus. Safer or Sorrier?

image Sandra Rivera
Age 33
Resides Manhattan
Occupation Assistant manager

What should the city be doing about the West Nile virus? They knew as early as January that there were infected mosquitoes, but they chose not to do anything about it. Now they're running around telling people to close their windows and wear long sleeves.

Are you more afraid of the virus or the spraying? Both. I'm asthmatic, and last year's spray really bothered me.

What diseases are you afraid of? Right now, I'm worried about this virus and about one of my children being bitten and infected. We have new screens all over the house and the kids go to camp in long-sleeve shirts.


image Prashant Hemady
Age 27
Resides Brooklyn
Occupation Copy editor

What should the city be doing about the West Nile virus? They should educate people better. This disease is so high-profile because it has an exotic name.

Are you more afraid of the virus or the spraying? The spraying. People should have the option of using natural sprays. When I went to West Africa, I used Avon's Skin So Soft, which wasn't originally designed as an insect repellent but which works.

What diseases are you afraid of? I've had typhoid. I believe I've had my share of exotic diseases.


image Kevin Larouche
Age 22
Resides Manhattan
Occupation Newspaper distributor

What should the city be doing about the West Nile virus? Whatever it is they're doing, it isn't working, or we wouldn't still have a problem.

Are you more afraid of the virus or the spraying? I'm equally concerned about both. On the one hand, I have to believe that because this insecticide is on the market, it's been tested and they know it's safe. On the other hand, they probably said that about the chemicals they used in the Gulf War.

What diseases are you afraid of? I'm also afraid of things like bug repellent. My brother's been using one for years and it upset the chemical balance of his body. Now he has skin cancer.


image Theresse Kawarabayashi
Age 27
Resides Manhattan
Occupation Student

What should the city be doing about the West Nile virus? I think what they're doing is right, but I hope the spray is safe.

Are you more afraid of the virus or the spraying? I'm more worried about the virus, but again, I hope that 10 years down the line they don't start seeing people with brain cancer.

What diseases are you afraid of? When I was in the Peace Corps, I was afraid of malaria because there's no vaccine.


image Keith Bedford
Age 30
Resides Brooklyn
Occupation Photographer

What should the city be doing about the West Nile virus? What they're doing now is overkill. Mosquitoes are part of the food chain and if we poison them, we introduce toxins into that system.

Are you more afraid of the virus or the spraying? The spraying. I don't belive in chemicals beyond the ones I take for a headache.

What diseases are you afraid of? I'm not afraid of anything airborne, but I can imagine being afraid of staph infections.


image Michele Appello
Age 24
Resides Queens
Occupation Online ad trafficker

What should the city be doing about the West Nile virus? For one thing, they should use safer sprays.

Are you more afraid of the virus or the spraying? I'm dog-sitting, and because of the spray, I don't know the safest time to walk the dog. How can they say it's safe, and at the same time tell you to stay inside with the windows closed?

What diseases are you afraid of? Cancer, but all you can do is get a regular screening. Food poisoning also concerns me.


image Omar Abdul-Rakim
Age 24
Resides Manhattan
Occupation Cab driver

What should the city be doing about the West Nile virus? They should be providing more information about what to do if you get it. I don't trust the government. We suffer from massive overpopulation, and I think this might be their effort to reduce it. I wonder if the West Nile virus even exists.

Are you more afraid of the virus or the spraying? The spraying. It's poison.

What diseases are you afraid of? You can catch all kinds of things like TB in the subway. They've had to quarantine entire cars because one person was suspected of having tuberculosis. Also, the wheels and the tracks of the subway are all metal, and the metal dust created by the friction between the two is deadly.

 
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