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Darn sand storm!

While I was living in Vancouver, BC Canada it was the incessant drizzly rain every day that nearly drove me loony tunes especially during winter time. Here in the Middle East it is wind storms. Today has been REALLY awful, and has been keeping me indoors. Outside is almost dark, not because of clouds but dust wind. My porch is completely covered under a thick layer of sand, and so is my car. Thankfully I put a car cover on (people think I'm a bit crazy for it) when I'm not using it, so that the fine sand has less of a chance to get into every little crevice it can find. All I need to do when this finally ends is to dust the sand off the cover.

What I hate about the sand storm too is an eery feeling of something being up, ill at ease, unsettled, and not quite being able to put a finger on it. Almost like one has to hide away or something. Worst part is if one should be walking in a dust storm, the very fine sand will find its way into every possible orifice, face, ears, even nose, and eyes, and this is of course also the season when people get regular eye infections. So all of those turbans and burcas have a real purpose here. Centuries worth of protection against the dust, as it can be hazardous for the health.

Local protective wear against the harsh weather conditions in the Middle East:

Compared with something like this:

10 blog comments below

Looks like a sand storm would be more likely to keep people inside than rain. I couldn't imagine walking around in all of that and not worrying about my eyes or where else the sand might go! Can you normally see these coming or do they sometimes sneak up on you? If I got caught in one of these I'd be running for cover.
TheGremlyn on Sat Apr 06, 2013 1:46 pm
Deanhills, how often do these sandstorms happen? Do they happen rarely or often? Are they dangerous?
twotrophy on Sat Apr 06, 2013 2:01 pm
Agreed TG. The rain I can deal with. Although it can get tedious after a very long stretch of time. But sand storms are completely different, and probably more harmful for health if one is not properly covered up.

@Twotrophy. These sand storms are seasonal. We're moving from autumn (equivalent of summer in North America) to spring here (beginning of really hot weather), so we are probably going to have these storms on and off for a few days with maybe breaks in between. I'm really hoping for a break tomorrow. As Sunday is our first work day of the week.
deanhills on Sat Apr 06, 2013 8:31 pm
Wow Dean. Here today I have high winds and just the wind itself stings! I cannot imagine getting sandblasted at the same time. Ouch!
standready on Sun Apr 07, 2013 1:23 am
Now I understand how sandstorms can be harmful to your health. Thank you Deanhills.
twotrophy on Sun Apr 07, 2013 2:54 am
wow. How could your eyes NOT always hurt in that environment? Just out of curiosity, is there anyone there who who can honestly say that the whites of their eyes are truly white? I know my eyes would b terminally bloodshot.
onebadpenny on Sun Apr 07, 2013 8:21 pm
You're right onebadpenny. I do have problems with my eyes here too. I've got to use eye drops every day.

So now the sequel of the sand storm on Sunday evening. We got an enormous rain storm with buckets of rain coming down. Quite interesting how these rain storms hit only certain areas of where I live. Some areas escape completely and stayed bone dry, our area was under water. And another area had a hail storm. The rain storm lasted for about an hour, and of course that turned all of the layers of dust into instant mud. I was happy and relieved though, as I thought that was it. Sand storm kaput, finis. YET, then within hours after that, fortunately after I had arrived at work, it all started over again. Enormous sand storm with reduced visibility, everything dark.

Finally last night around 9:00 p.m. the wind all of a sudden turned into a breeze. Am crossing fingers it will stay like that for as long as possible. As this morning when I woke up at 4:30 a.m. I went for a very long LONG walk/jog just to get outside in fresh air, after having being cooped up indoors for three days. After my walk I tried to get rid of some of the layers of sand in my porch, almost like shoveling snow, except of course sand is a bit heavier. Got rid of the worst of it, and will leave the rest of the cleaning for the weekend. Magical how the car cover managed to protect my car, as all I had to do was dust the car cover off - quite a lot of dusting, but my car underneath the cover was as clean as it was before.
deanhills on Mon Apr 08, 2013 9:40 am
Interesting difference between the old and the new styles of dressing. It makes sense to cover up. Though I don't think I would like it either sand storms have very real functions on this planet. That doesn't help the fact like rain it can be irritating. We all want really great weather but every day isn't like that.

What is with eye infections I wonder. I can see how injury to skin or skin around the eye can make it prone to infection but I wonder if bacteria count in the environment has more to do with it.
Bluedoll on Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:53 am
I'm not an expert of course but apparently it has to do with dust being responsible for airborne infection, that then gets into the eyes through dust particles. Just as bad for one's lungs as well as it can create respiratory problems.

On top of it all, my cousin in South Africa who is in ophthalmology mentioned live organisms that are present in our eye lashes, so who knows that may come from the dust as well. Someone also sent this article to me this morning. Sort of a little horrible, of the critters living on our skin as well:
deanhills on Wed Apr 10, 2013 12:13 pm
Unless we are scientific minded maybe it is best we don't know about these things. Laughing

I was just thinking that the sand itself if it is clean should not cause infection though certainly they harm the skin. What you said made sense Dean. I was wondering about the car paint too though that is not as important as any human suffering that might occur.

If we live in extremely Northern Areas we need to protect our skin from frost bite. Certainly the same precautions should be taken for sand storms. I can see how storms might be very bothersome. They do have a useful purpose though in nature.
Bluedoll on Thu Apr 11, 2013 8:50 am

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