These are the dog days
today at 5:00 pm
Now come the dog days of August, days of heat and humidity, sweat and thunder. Days of ripening tomatoes and milkweed pods. Days of monarch butterflies, evenings of fireflies and dog day cicadas.
The term dog days comes from the dog star Sirius, which is visible in the night sky at this time. You can read more about it here.
There are more hot days now, thanks to climate change. There are more wildfires, droughts and floods, heat waves and severe storms. The patterns of weather are changing, too.
What used to be known as Tornado Alley–Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Nebraska, Kansas–has moved east. Tornadoes have touched down in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania!
And the virus is still with us, and mutating. This isn’t the summer we thought it would be. But just think of last year.
Last year at this time, the vaccines were not even available yet.
Donald Trump was in the White House, there was even talk of postponing the 2020 election, due to the pandemic. Mail was being sabotaged. People were protesting the killing of George Floyd.
The August 10 derecho in 2020 devastated parts of Iowa and Illinois. People are still recovering.
Chicago was in Phase 4 of re-opening. There was cautious optimism.
I am still optimistic. In spite of crowds at Lollapalooza and surge of people at Sturgis, the vaccines still offer the best protection against the delta variant, and the Lambda variant, too. Please get vaccine, if you can.
The good news is, vaccination rates are up, even as COVID cases are rising, again.
Yes, West Nile virus mosquitos are still here in Cook county. The first human case was reported in mid-June. You can read the story, here.
I wondered if West Nile mosquitos could also transmit COVID-19 and the variants. According to the CDC, the answer is NO! That’s good news to me!