We all love us some Theatre in the Park here in JoCo. Great season this year especially. Shows included The Wiz and West Side Story.
But unless you spray coat all your clothes and shoes and stockings --and that goes for your kids as well-- the night before with Permethrin, which MUST dry overnight, then you are at serious and realistic risk of contracting deer syphilis, aka Lyme Disease.
JoCo Parks & Rec director for Shawnee Mission Park, Bill Maasen, is in complete denial about the ongoing tick problem rampant at the park. Years ago, some Lyme Disease victims attended park board meetings, and begged them to eliminate or greatly reduce the deer population. Each deer carries over 1000 deer ticks, the source of deer syphilus, aka lyme disease.
The Park Board (an independent district subsidized by voter-approved mill levy, as well as a stipend from JoCo government) balked. They compromised on a deer-culling bow-hunting season that fall. They didn't like to be told what to do, so they settled on doing something halfway. ONCE! And of course, with no treatment thereafter, it's like Jack Nicholson in The Shining.
My neighbor, Sue, is permanently disabled by Lyme. Brain fog. So weak she can barely get out of bed. Migrating arthritis. Vision problems. And headaches, you wouldn't believe. She even recalls the tick bites, because unlike 65% of all Lyme victims, she DID get a bullseye rash.
There are only five lyme-literate doctors in greater KC who dare to treat Lyme. And several thousand victims.
There are at least four other tick-borne diseases, including one that Shawnee Mission Park sometimes on a whim DOES ocasionally warn about, at the dog park parking lot, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. More in another post. So when Sue and her husband went to Shawnee Mission Park last week, to watch the sunset, she was appalled at the tick population. She had pre-treated all her long-sleeved clothes, pants, socks and hat--to prevent reinfection. And washed them immediately thereafter, and de-ticked her dogs who had a hundred ticks on them.
But how many naive theatre loving families will fail to do that--and pay the price for years of pain and agony? Lyme. Technically it's deer syphilus, that migrates for years to the next vulnerable organ. A sexually transmittable disease also transmitted thru mothers' milk to infants. And if not treated immediately, and often for longer than the CDC wants to allow you to take the meds, there is no cure.
Permethrin. Available even at Walmart. But ya gotta let it dry for 10 hours.
So please, don't let your kids wander in the woods during that time before the show, once you've spread out your pre-treated blanket, just to burn off energy and amuse themselves.
And if you see Bill Maasen, Superintendent of Parks and Golf Courses, out there, easing on down the road, tell him to spray the park regularly for ticks. Especially Theatre in the Park and the Off-Leash Dog Park. He told me a month ago, "There are NO ticks in Shawnee Mission Park!" What's he smokin? One thousand ticks per deer. And they drop off on hiking trails and in the grass. Waiting for your little legs to walk by.
"Wendy, I'm home!!!"