chownah wrote: ↑Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:03 am
I've never had lice and I've never heard anyone ever in my life mention having them (I mean real people, not internet entities)......I feel like I have so far missed out on one of the fundamental experiences of humanity.
@chownah, from your user name I would have guessed you to live in Northeastern Thailand. If you wish to get acquainted with lice infestations, simply make contact with your local village school. As lice are quite common, it will not take long for the phone to ring so that you can be invited to see first-hand how such a situation is handled. Actually, at any time, somebody in your village should have lice; if you know how to look, it is actually not difficult to spot, especially along the hairline.
As I mentioned before, lice are vectors for dangerous human disease. If any infestation is quelled quickly, the risk goes down exponentially (as @retrofuturist has added as well).
@denise: The issue is not with lice feeding on old skin and hair particles. What makes them liable for countermeasures is their ability to carry diseases that will kill their host (children, old people and ones with weak immune systems right at the front of that line). If they would be harmless, in the way face mites (Demodex) are -- every single human on this planet carries them around the nose! -- being a carrier would not be a problem.
Carrying them in the full knowledge that they might endanger your whole community makes this a morally difficult issue, as you now need to decide if the children of your neighbours, the monks in the temple, your parents, etc are more important to you than these animals on your body.
I do not know if you or @dylanj have ever lived in a place with compromised healthcare, as both of you give your location as the USA. But in many countries in Southeast Asia, especially in far out rural communities, even easy to cure diseases can become problematic or even life-threatening quickly (healthcare got alot better in the last 20 years though).
As soon as you talk to people who have lived in times where it was normal to loose half of your children to sickness (eg my age group), there will be a growing appreciation that risk of infection is to be minimized -- even at a Kammic cost to oneself.
The teaching is a lake with shores of ethics, unclouded, praised by the fine to the good.
There the knowledgeable go to bathe, and cross to the far shore without getting wet.