Jack Simpson

Jack Simpson

In late February or early March, pollen season begins. One sign of its arrival is the yellow blanket of pollen evident on family vehicles and everything else in the vicinity!

My spouse is among those who suffer misery during pollen season each spring and again in the fall.

With the abundance of trees and greenery in the Atlanta area, this is an attractive place to live even with the pollen. Right now oak, pine, maple, poplar and sweet gum trees are contributing to the discomfort of those with allergies. Later the grasses and ragweed will add to the misery.

Pollen counts are usually higher in the morning, so it is best for sufferers to do their outdoor activities in early evening. The warmer temperatures and longer growing season cause those with a problem to increase doctor visits, buy more antihistamines, and take more allergy shots. Allergy sufferers tend to spend more time indoors, rely more on air conditioning, and even wear surgical masks. They also tend to cuss out this dreaded pollen more and more. Sneezing, congestion and even headaches and clogged sinuses are very common. “It ain’t no fun, y’all.” Consider yourself fortunate if you have a certain tolerance to spring pollen.

Folks who cannot adjust to the many problems encountered with pollen often wear glasses, hats, masks and stay as closed up as possible during the height of the pollen season.

To emphasize how extreme the pollen count could get, my spouse called me to her computer just the other morning pointing out a story about Eric Henderson of New Jersey, who took his front-end loader and tapped a large tree with it. The result was a pollen explosion and a yellow cloud that covered him and his tractor. He was not visible in the resulting concealment.

Seeing just how heavy pollen can get makes one feel like escaping places like Atlanta for Minnesota and South Dakota, where allergy sufferers get a break from their misery!

Jack Simpson is a former educator, a veteran, an author and a law enforcement officer. His column appears each week in the weekend edition of this newspaper.

Stay Informed