#COP21: What Does Climate Change Mean for Allergic People

This is not a complicated piece about the long-awaited COP21 deal. One of the Top 3 global polluters said that it’s great everyone is setting goals in Paris. Personally, I don’t expect the COP21 reunion to be a mere exchange of goal-setting-never-abiding-by-our-most-ridiculous-PR-promises. None of the countries already severely affected by climate change expects a friendly chat about what big polluters see fit to do on Earth.

Abiding by a clear set of binding goals is a different matter, but I do not see that coming any time soon. Not in Paris, not when Beijing (guess where China is ranking in Top 3) delayed activating its red alert for severe air pollution precisely during the COP21 event.

Well, what does climate change mean for an average human being like me?

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I grew up in the countryside and had no trouble spending entire days surrounded by green grass, noisy birds and scented trees. From 2003, I developed a severe pollen reaction in France as a student located in a university campus close to a chemical plant. Ever since, it grew worse so much so that somewhere in 2011, I started taking seasonal medication to be able to breathe and go outside in spring and summer time.

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Two years afterwards, seasonal medication became ineffective and my doctor indicated starting a 3-year immunotherapy against pollen. Now, imagine I am already into my third year and things are sensibly better. However, since the said immunotherapy is produced in France (thank you Stallergenes for halting Staloral as we speak – and what a coincidence going back to France roots), and is currently halted from European distribution, I am forced to stop my treatment for more than expected.

OK, Romania is doing its best to prevent allergic patients from getting the right medicine as well. National decision-makers admitted in 2015 that pharma companies were inflating prices in Romania as opposed to other EU countries, and were not abiding by existent regulations (OMS Nr. 75/2009). Currently, my pharmacist is blocking my Staloral order because legally, she is allowed to do so even though my treatment is not replaceable.

Therefore, from a perfectly healthy patient in 2000, some 15 years afterwards I became a patient dependent on allergic immunotherapy medication unable to cope with green environments. I dread thinking what allergic and asthmatic patients feel about COP21 right now.

No, I don’t expect a sensational agreement in Paris, but I do expect to be able to breathe next year.

 

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About Cristina Popa

Cristina is a WordPress blogger who regularly writes or shares updates on media, public affairs and various topics of interest. You may follow her on Communication for Development WP blog or Twitter @CristinaPopa0
This entry was posted in International Affairs, International Organizations, Miscellaneous and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to #COP21: What Does Climate Change Mean for Allergic People

  1. Cristina, I am horrified by this story – it is a sure reminder of what we are doing to our planet with chemical plants and oil refineries. I am so sorry about your particular medical issues and hope that you will be able to breathe again soon. Chronic illnesses are so…chronic.

    • There’s a growing number of people with respiratory problems dependent on medication. Once an allergy sets in, it’s extremely difficult to control it, let alone to remove it. That’s why the quality of the air is a major concern for each of us.

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