Blindness in the time of pinkeye

One of the biggest problems with the theory of evolution is the eye, and the one most often quoted by creationists. The problem is this: if any one part of the eye is abstracted, then the whole is rendered useless. So how did the parts evolve? Like the retina, or the cornea or the lens? The basis of the theory of the theory advantage is supposed to be the survival of the fittest: the fittest organism survives to breed, and pass on the characteristic that has been produced by some random mutation. But what is the advantage of a retina but no cornea, or an iris without a lens?

Creationists argue that the eye had to develop in the organism whole, and that could happen only if the eye (and thus whole organism) had been created consciously, by design, in short by the Almighty. Creationism has got a bad press generally, but apart from the eye, it has got similar queries about a number of other organs.

But let’s stick with eyes. One of the worrisome factors about diabetes is that one of the things that happen is that one can go blind, because it can cause retinopathy, or death of the retinal cells. Yeah, sure, you may need to have limbs amputated because gangrene sets in, but blindness is one very good reason to keep your sugar under control.

Medicines have been developed to stop this, but the problem is that they can’t be taken in the form of a sugar-coated pill, but have to be injected. Not a shot in the arm or a jab in the bum, but injected right in the eye.

Of late, such injections have been making patients go blind. It’s a cruel irony. These are not young patients. They’ve been used to being sighted all their lives. They’ve depended on their eyes literally since before they can remember, ever since they were born. They’ve become scared at the idea of losing their sight, so scared that they’ve overcome the very natural fear of having someone poke a needle in their eyes. And for that injection to make them blind. They have been diagnosed as suffering from endophthalmitis, which means either the place where the injection was administered was dirty, or the medicine itself was contaminated. With cases widely separated, it couldn’t be the hospitals, so it must have been the medicine itself, which is imported, and then distributed by a single company. Two distributors have been arrested, but that won’t restore anyone’s vision.

Something that doesn’t normally cause blindness even if it affects the eyes is pinkeye, of which there has been an epidemic lately, so virulent that they have closed the schools in the hope that this will break the chain of infection. It’s a disease that begins as an irritation in the eyes, and the best way of dealing with that is to resist the temptation to rub one’s eyes. Forbidding a child to do that is probably the surest way of ensuring that he or she does do so. That’s how the infection spreads. From eye to hand to a doorknob, let’s say, where someone else picks it up on his eyes by a casual contact.

I know the government reaction to pinkeye made it popular among schoolchildren, I don’t think school shutdowns are the answer to everything. Just like shutting down mobile services are the answer to everything. Imagine the APS tragedy happening today. First combat terrorism by shutting down the mobiles. And then shut down all schools to check its spread.

One of the symptoms of pinkeye is sensitivity to light. That means that all those people wearing dark glasses (even at night) are not too vain to show their pink eye-rims, but want to ease the suffering. It gives defenders of Imran Khan ammunition: now they can say he wears dark glasses at night not because of an addiction, but because of pinkeye.

One of his warriors, his namesake Imrian Riaz Khan, has returned home after several months in somebody’s captivity. He has neither named his captors, nor held a press conference abjuring the PTI and all its works, especially the incidents of May 9, nor has he raised any slogans in favour of the Army,

Meanwhile, the arrest of Khawar Farid Maneka for land-grabbing has drawn a lot of criticism on his ex-wife, Bushra Bibi, who is Imran’s wife these days. Some are wondering at how both of those who have been her husbands are in jail. There is clearly some next-level stuff going on that I don’t want to get into.



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