Friday, April 8, 2011

Bizarre Random Find In Tacoma

This note about Trypanosomiasis or Chagas disease was on the ground on Fawcett Street in Tacoma on April 8, 2011. Obviously I do not own a very good camera or you would be able to read it. Please read on.

I picked this note up as I often do because the world contains interesting and randomly discarded things like notes, envelopes, court papers, love notes, etc. I wish I had thought of doing this before the creators at http://www.foundmagazine.com/. The publishers of this web site have the market fully cornered. The site explains the idea to collect and record all this accumulated information began when founder Davy went out to his car and found a note under the windshield. The note was intended for a man named Mario and begins as a standard breakup letter but ends with "please text me." They found the mixture of anger and hopefulness in that note interesting and so began their publication.

My find today was odd. It obviously comes from a card catalog at from which once was at The Public Health Service however it does not note in what city. The dewey decimal references a publication about Trypanosomiasis or Chagas Disease printed in 1976. Carlos Chagas was a physician in Brazil who noticed many patients exhibiting strange symptoms that sometimes resulted in death. Chagas, an infectologist, determined the illness was caused by a parasitic tropical disease spread by insects, blood transfusions, organ transplants and from mothers to their fetuses. If treated early with antiparasitic drugs, the disease can be stopped. Four to eight weeks after being infected, if a patient enters an acute stage it cannot be cured.

Sixty to eighty percent of people infected with the parasite never become symptomatic, though they can carry and spread the disease. Chagas Disease is mainly found in Mexico, Central America and in the southern United States.

I cannot read the handwriting on this card clearly. Whoever took this card from the catalog was supposed to call a person named Gordy. I don't think this is at all related to Chagas Disease. Someone really needed to write a note and I guess all they could find for scrap paper was this card. The tragedy is the person may have forgotten because the reminder was dropped on the ground. It is impossible to know when the call was supposed to have happened. I hope Gordy is okay. -Alison Whiteman

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