The world is a horrible, scary, frightening, dangerous place. We all know that. Vleeptron isn't telling you anything you didn't already know.
Now the Vleeptron Ministry of Surprise Unknown Terrors (MoSUT) takes this opportunity to tell you about a horrible, scary, frightening thing you probably never heard of.
(Leave a Comment if you know stuff about This Thing. What do you know, and how do you know it?)
As far as I can tell from this First Quick Scan, This Thing is invisible, imperceivable, unpredictable, and emanates no warning whatever, not to an Average Jane or a Regular Joe, not to the world's top Nobel Prize-winning expert in This Thing.
Until This Thing strikes. Sometimes it kills you and a bunch of your neighbors.
The news story is from The Age, a daily broadsheet (I think) from Victoria state in Australia.
But it seems more and more clear, even certain, that This Thing might next pop up
[ enter your ZIP code or Latitude/Longitude ]
here. The Antipodes aren't the only bailiwick where This Thing might suddenly decide to Manifest Itself. Wallabies and puggles are not reliable warnings that This Thing is about to jump all over your ass.
And contrariwise: If you're surrounded by caribou, you shouldn't relax because you think This Thing never happens in places lousy with caribou.
(I've been in a place that's lousy with caribou. Earth has lots of caribou if you know where to look, more caribou than you can shake a stick at.)
NIMBY is a modern-day acronym for "Not In My Back Yard." This Thing could be In Your Back Yard 5 seconds from now.
My brother served in the U.S. Air National Guard. Their unofficial motto, whispered in giggles to each other, was
"Sleep Well Tonight, Your National Guard Is."
The only reason ions exist is that your teacher or professor said they exist, and your test score would drop if you implied you didn't think ions exist.
If you have personally proven that ions exist, and aren't just taking it on Faith or Fear Of Bad Test Score, please Leave A Comment. We'll need details.
FOMO, another modern-day acronym: Fear Of Missing Out.
The study of Existence -- its attributes, what or who Exists, who or what Doesn't Exist, how anybody knows one way or the other -- is Ontology. I don't know if there are university Departments of Ontology, but I know for sure you can take a 1-semester, maybe a whole year of Ontology.
Google "ontology" and then click the [buy] button, and you can fill your garage with ontology books.
Lots of them differ in significant ways about
* Existence in General, or about whether
* You Exist, or whether
* You Certainly Exist, but other people Don't Exist As Certainly As You Exist.
There's a huge argument about the distinction (if any) between Existence and Essence.
Just Leave A Comment. Vleeptron hasn't been getting enough Comments lately. Don't just wait for a post that affects or offends or moves you deeply.
(Vleeptron REALLY offended Anonymous a few posts ago. First she [I'm guessing] wallowed in Happy Nostalgia when Vleeptron played Patience and Prudence singing "Tonight You Belong to Me" on the old Perry Como TV show. Then, apparently believing that all Vleeptron music videos would be Happy & Innocent, she clicked on Neil Young singing "Piece of Crap." She Left A Comment. She felt betrayed, she felt slimed.)
But don't Leave A Comment to get me to buy your herbal things.
If you're reading Vleeptron -- a certified Good Thing -- but not Leaving A Comment because you're still staggering around in malaise and disbelief (or curled up in a ball, like the person at the top of this post said she was on Wednesday 9 November 2016) at the recent election of Donald Janfu Trump to the Presidency of the United States of America,
1. Vleeptron feels your pain.
2. Leave A Comment.
UPDATE: 6 deaths from thunderstorm asthma in Melbourne have been confirmed as of Sunday 27 November.
Wednesday 23 November 2016
4 dead, hospitals pushed to limits,
government review ordered
by Beau Donelly, Emily Woods, Benjamin Preiss
183 reading now
At least four people have died after the sudden outbreak of "thunderstorm asthma," prompting an investigation into the emergency response to the medical crisis that swept across Melbourne on Monday.
Forty-eight hours after the massive asthma event pushed the city's healthcare system to its limits, two more people were confirmed dead.
Noble Park father-of-two, Clarence Leo, and 35-year-old man, Apollo Papadopoulos, died after suffering asthma attacks that are believed to be due to the unprecedented weather event.
As more information about the emergency response came to light on Wednesday -- including details of after-hour clinics, doctors and pharmacies struggling to cope with a surge in patients -- questions were raised about why a public warning was not sent out to asthma sufferers.
Health Minister Jill Hennessy, who commissioned the Inspector-General for Emergency Management to review the emergency response, said the thunderstorm asthma event could not have been predicted, but that work was underway to create new models to anticipate the effect of extreme weather on health.
"Unpredictable weather patterns and the impact on health I think is a new emerging frontier for public health risks," she said.
The National Home Doctor Service sent doctors to more than 100 asthma sufferers between Monday night and Tuesday morning.
Doctor Mark Hotusaid arrived at 16-year-old Angelique's Altona home about 4 am Tuesday after she had woken up "unable to breathe" and been turned away from hospital. He sent her back to hospital with a note for a doctor to see her immediately and she was finally admitted.
On Wednesday morning, Ms Hennessy said there were two confirmed deaths -- 20-year-old law student Hope Carnevali and Greenvale high-school student Omar Moujalled. But within hours, the grieving families and friends of two other men spoke of their loss after thunderstorm asthma struck.
Mr Leo, a bouncer, was well known in Melbourne's nightclub scene. His business partner, Andrew Christodoulou, described him as a "gentle giant."
Friend Danny Saddoo remembered Mr Leo as a doting father and husband and "a really lovely, kind-hearted man." He said he suffered a "massive" asthma attack at 4.30 am on Tuesday and died before paramedics arrived.
Mr Papadopoulos' sister, Bianca Becker, said her brother was "the best man you'll ever meet. We're devastated."
His mother, Emma Papadopoulos, said the "chaos" she witnessed at the hospital on Monday night was unlike anything she had ever seen. "I can't believe the amount of people there that were having problems breathing," she told Channel 10.
Charles Guest, chief health officer for the Department of Health and Human Services, would not comment on the number of fatalities, saying the department was aware of a "number of deaths" that may be associated with the event.
He declined to comment further until a cause of death had been "attributed" for these cases.
At least eight people were still in intensive care on Wednesday evening. It is understood one man is in a critical condition after suffering a cardiac arrest during the thunderstorm asthma.
Hospitals were inundated with more than 1000 people seeking help on Monday night after the sudden change in weather triggered respiratory problems in people across the city. There were almost 2000 calls for ambulances in five hours and about 30 people were admitted into intensive care units.
Sunshine Hospital was one of the worst hit, with 18 ambulances banked up in the early hours of Tuesday morning as crews frantically worked on patients.
A Western Health spokeswoman said it was "unheard of" to have that many ambulances waiting outside the suburban emergency department at one time.
After-hours clinics and pharmacies were also swamped with patients as they struggled to treat people with dwindling drug supplies.
The Age spoke to 10 Melbourne late night pharmacies, six of them completely sold out of Ventolin on Monday night. Staff at 24-hour Mill Park Superclinic described the night thunderstorm asthma hit Melbourne as like "a bomb had gone off."
Ambulance Employees Australia acting general secretary, Danny Hill, said ambulance crews were flat out during the emergency. "It's almost the equivalent of a major terrorist attack," he said, adding that crews reported the system functioned well.
"So while there would have been quite a lot of ramping across the city, [paramedics] were pretty happy the crooker patients got dealt with quite quickly."
Asthma Foundation Victoria chief executive Robin Ould said he would write to Ms Hennessy calling for an action plan to deal with future asthma events. But asthma sufferers also needed to ensure they were managing their condition, Mr Ould said. "We need to make people aware of what their own triggers are so they can manage their asthma."
- 30 -
[Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia]
Thunderstorm asthma is the triggering of an asthma attack by environmental conditions directly caused by a local thunderstorm. During a thunderstorm, pollen grains can absorb moisture and then burst into much smaller fragments with these fragments being easily dispersed by wind. While larger pollen grains are usually filtered by hairs in the nose, the smaller pollen fragments are able to pass through and enter the lungs, triggering the asthma attack.
There have been reports of thunderstorms causing widespread asthma attacks across city populations which have overwhelmed emergency services and hospitals and led to deaths. The phenomenon was first recorded in Melbourne, Australia in 1987, and since then there have been further reports of widespread thunderstorm asthma in Wagga Wagga in Australia; London and Birmingham in the United Kingdom; Naples, Italy, Atlanta, Georgia, USA, and southwest Iran.
It has been found 95% of those that were affected by thunderstorm asthma had a history of hayfever, and 96% of those people had tested positive to grass pollen allergies, particularly rye grass. As a rye grass pollen grain can hold up to 700 of these tiny starch granules, measuring 0.6 to 2.5 um, which is small enough to reach the lower airways in the lung. Even so, the conditions surrounding thunderstorm asthma are so strong that a number of those affected during a thunderstorm asthma outbreak may have never experienced an asthma attack before.
On November 21, 2016, Melbourne experienced another asthma epidemic during and after a local thunderstorm that overwhelmed the ambulance system and some local hospitals. Four people died after experiencing respiratory issues during the thunderstorm.
Suphioglu C. Thunderstorm Asthma Due to Grass Pollen. Int Arch Allergy Immunol 1998;116:253–260. doi:10.1159/000023953
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Forouzan A, Masoumi K, Haddadzadeh Shoushtari M, Idani E, Tirandaz F, Feli M, Assarehzadegan MA, Asgari Darian A. An overview of thunderstorm-associated asthma outbreak in southwest of Iran. J Environ Public Health. 2014;2014:504017. doi: 10.1155/2014/504017. PMID 25093023
"What is thunderstorm asthma? - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)". Abc.net.au. Retrieved 2016-11-23.
Peter Dockrill (2015-08-21). "Thunderstorm asthma is a real thing that's killed 2 people in Australia". ScienceAlert.com. Retrieved 2016-11-23.
Reed Alexander and James Griffiths (November 23, 2016). "'Thunder asthma:' Deadly illness caused by freak weather". CNN. Retrieved November 23, 2016.
"'Thunderstorm asthma': Four people now believed dead, could have been more, minister says" ABC News, 23 November 2016. Accessed 23 November 2016.