The air is fucking poisoned

Northern California has horrendous fires burning, and, as of tonight, we’re told that 1,000 people are missing and at least 600 are dead.  This is awful, and my heart goes out to everyone who lost a loved one or lost a home.  It’s hard to even imagine that level of personal devastation and horror.

The rest of the Bay Area, (including the area where I and my family live), is enshrouded in smoke which has brought the AQI (an acronym I just learned a week ago) up to 300+, and has caused the air to be actively unhealthy (apparently the equivalent of smoking a pack a day).

Because we had a similar situation last Fall, when Santa Rosa had awful wildfires, and those of us south of those fires had to deal with terrible air quality for roughly a week and also “survived,” I have this temptation to not take what’s happening currently too seriously.  And I also realize I have an anxiety disorder, so it’s better for my mental health that I not dwell on worst case scenarios, so I’m attempting not to, and have spent a week pushing these fatalistic thoughts to the back of my mind.  But, as this event drags out, and our air quality gets progressively worse, school days are cancelled, and the streets are eerily quiet, I’m starting to freak out a little, and wondering if everyone else shouldn’t be also?

The reality is we’ve been breathing wildly unhealthy air again for a week, after doing it for a week about a year ago as well.  I think we in the Bay Area are accepting this event as though it were the new status quo, and it probably is, given global climate change….  but… fuck.   This is pretty awful.   We’re ingesting toxic chemicals.  There are five million of us doing this.   It’ll apparently happen each November from now on.  Not one of us signed up for this.

 

 

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2 thoughts on “The air is fucking poisoned

  1. Oh man, I really feel for you. I remember when Seattle had a bad air quality in the summer (hard to recall now, but I believe it was blowing down from Canada) and we weren’t allowed to take the kids at the daycare I work outside. It was in “the red zone” which is over 250. I could feel my chest ache constantly at home and wondered if we should be evacuating or…doing more? But I guess I survived and, here’s a little reassurance, you probably will, too :). Hang in there.

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    1. Glad you made it through that experience! Yeah, someone sensible reminded me that there are plenty of parts of the world where air quality like this is a daily thing, which is hard to imagine, but those folks generally manage to survive it. Not that they have a choice. In our case, I feel like the Bay Area can handle a few more days of this, and it’s nothing so far compared to losing your home to fires.

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