I have asked this question since I began to ask intelligible questions. Pesky and dangerous, nobody is happy with mosquitoes, except businessmen behind insecticides and insect-repellants, crocodiles in pharmaceutical firms, and doctors who, while charging sickening fees, pay, if at all, below minimum-wage taxes.
I am sure you know somebody who has suffered from dengue. And the victim could be anybody: man or woman, old or young, rich or poor, sinner or saint, Noranian or Vilmanian.
I attended the funeral of a fifteen year old boy recently, and it was one of the few occasions tears rolled down my cheeks (I shed tears twice a year on average). A graduating student at a science high school, the boy had a whole life ahead of him. He was an achiever, a good son and brother, an astute citizen and believer in God. But there he was lying in a white coffin, fate sealed by a mosquito’s kiss.
So, specifically, I ask: why did God create disease-carrying mosquitoes? Why did he not just make vitamin-injecting insects that make you healthier when they bite or mosquitoes that supply SanMig Light directly to the bloodstream? Or glutathione for the aesthetically insecure. Or viagra to the weak. Why the death and agony?
Scientists argue that mosquitoes are an integral part of the ecosystem, that they make good meals for frogs. This, dear karikna, is unfair to the frogs. I am sure there are other dishes they could binge on. Kermit could counter-argue that mosquitoes really taste awful and that frogs are just helping poor human beings fight dengue by eating the winged parasites.
For environmentalists and health technocrats, dengue outbreaks are a reminder for everyone to keep their surroundings clean. But casualties of the treacherous disease, at least those I know, are not exactly the messy and dirty type. And last time I heard, the obsessive-compulsive Aedes Aegypti only lays her eggs in clean water where no other organisms thrive.
Yet others think vector mosquitoes carry out God’s designs to control population. “Deaths should keep up with the rapidly increasing births, lest this planet explode in overpopulation,” demographers remind us. But tell that to a grieving mother who lost a child, or to a child who lost a mother, or to a father who lost both wife and child. We can look at the casualties as mere statistics: hundreds, thousands, percents. But dengue, on a most personal level, has a human face. And, in the face of anguish, we ask why things happen the way they do, and why our almighty, all-knowing, all-present, and all-good God allow them.
The last time I asked questions on God and existence, I received hordes of email from born-again Christians all too eager to exorcise me, so I’d be careful this time not to be misunderstood. I do not, dear karikna, question the Supreme Being’s wisdom. After all, I am only an insignificant human being with a shining, shimmering, widening forehead. But I am just asking questions I find meaningful. Maybe you have answers to share, and I am ready to listen.
While we search for answers, dear karikna, it would do us well to keep safe. Let’s keep our surroundings clean and quash the striped devil’s potential breeding sites in our respective environments. Above all, let’s keep our resistance level to a maximum: drink vitamins, rest well, exercise enough, avoid stress, minimize vices (dengue should not be an excuse for smokers to intensify fumigation), and, if you may, pray hard.
If all of these fail, we continue to ask why God created mosquitoes, and hope that the reasons we are yet to understand, if we ever will, are really for humanity’s good. Atheists call this blindness. Most people call this faith.