There is something very wrong with the way we live.
This post will be a bit different from what I usually write. It will be a little story about one of our escapade we did during my time in Tampa. A story that I hope will make some of you, dear readers, if any one reads this, realize that we need to do something about the way we live.
So I decided to escape Montréal for a few days during the long week end of May and ended up visiting my cousins in Tampa Bay, Florida. Worst enemy of Montréal because of the Hockey (of course)
At some point, during a sunny afternoon, we decided to go water biking on the river (yes, like real bikes with floaters).
That was actually kind of really nice! It was really hot, like a bit more than 30°C, no clouds above our heads. The lady at the bike shop gave us two bottles of water instead of the usual one they give clients so we could stay hydrated for the hour we would be on the water.
We jumped on the water bikes and started going around the shop to get to the river path. That is when my cousin’s girlfriend made her bottle of water fell into the river. She picked it up and put it back on the bike and we went on with the ride.
It was really nice to be able to bike in the river, see a bit of Tampa like that. I had done that in Chicago (but on a boat) and I love visiting like this. One thing we noticed though was how much trash was in the water. Lots of plastics, lids from beer bottles… I know there is a lot of pollution in the rivers and oceans, but it was kind of revolting. It made the three of us want to volunteer to clean the river.
We were on the water for about half an hour and ready to turn around when we suddenly saw a dolphin the the water! A DOLPHIN! Can you believe that? In the middle of Tampa, where it was very far from the entrance of the river.
Can you spot the Dolphin? Ok not best picture.
We turned back when it disappeared and headed to the shop again. I saw some small sting rays under my bike and then next to the shop we saw two “Sea Cows” or Manatees (their other name). I had never seen that before. At first I thought they were seals (that I have seen before) but they were way bigger than seals.
It was so weird to see that many wild life in that river that looked so polluted. I felt bad for them. They could eat plastic at anytime there. It really made me want to do more than just reduce my plastic usage.
I want to find ways to clean up the mess we made. I can’t believe people just throw their bags, lids, cups, anything really, into the water or into nature.
If you have any intel for me on where I can start looking for tips or groups that would be great. Please comment on my post so any one who would be interested too can see it. I am living in the Montreal, Canada area right now.
So anyhow, after we went out of the bike, my cousin’s girlfriend started to feel sick from her stomach. It was hurting a bit but bearable. She decided to stay at home for the night though, and the next day. She went with us to dinner but she didn’t eat anything and left a few minutes after, not feeling very well.
We started to think about what could have happened. What she ate that could have food poisoned her. And suddenly we thought about the bottle of water that fell into the river. Though the bottle was closed, it was the only thing that she did differently from us. We ate at the same places, almost the same dishes and she was the only one sick. My mom – who is a doctor – said there was a very low probability that it would be the water (as the bottle was closed).
They went to the emergency during the night though because she was still not feeling great. After 7 hours there, the doctors checked her up for everything they could check her up and it resulted in a positive result for the Sapovirus. Scary thing or not, the doctors had no idea what that virus was even if they checked for it. They had to “Wikipedia” it. What-the-HELL?! When did Wikipedia became the medical book for doctors?
So apparently if you want to know more about the Sapovirus, you can check here Sapovirus – Wikipedia. But basically it is a bacteria that is in the water (or can be brought by unwashed plants) that goes into the stomach and causes similar symptoms to the gastroenteritis (stomach pain, diarrhea, vomiting. It is very resistant (like to bleach for example) and is spreading mostly in the US and Asia for now. It is quite a new virus.
It is not life threatening (apparently) and goes away on its own, there is no medicine for it. They still gave her things for stomach pain (strong ones) though. She was contagious for the first four days (with saliva mostly – so don’t share drinks). At some point we thought that we shared a drink with her but as we didn’t get sick right after, we are clear – yeah, it was pretty instantaneous.
So yeah. Water is polluted. I guess I already knew that but now I guess I will not bite my nails after touching any river. When I think about New Zealand and Norway where you can drink water from the streams and rivers (most of the times at least), it kind of scares me.
How did we end up polluting the environment so much? Maybe it is too late to do anything and maybe she shouldn’t have drunk that bottle afterwards even if it was closed when it fell but…
Yeah. Am I the only scared and a bit surprised by this? I would be interested by reading our thoughts.