California is smoking and we are choking ...
I live just upstream from Pitt Meadows, and often listen to the air quality index on the radio to know how many asthma patients to expect in the coming week. And every dip in air quality leads to a corresponding bump in elderly people with lung problems. Especially since Vancouver transiently held the world record for poor air quality just recently.
The various toxic compounds present in smoke are carbon monoxide (CO), hydrogen cyanide (HCN), phosgene, ammonia, sulfur dioxide, hydrogen sulfide (H2S), formaldehyde, and acrylonitriles. In other words, a lot of bad stuff. It causes inflammation of the lungs, which makes it hard to breath. And lung inflammation causes all sorts of toxins to leak into the blood stream, making you feel all-over rotten.
What to do about smoke inhalation:
If you have ever been wheezy, you are likely to get more wheezy. And if you have never been wheezy, you may get to experience it for the first time.
1) Stay inside as much as you can
2) Wear a mask when you are outside (unless it makes you worse)
- wearing a mask will filter out some of the smoke particles. Although ones that are small enough to have drifted on air currents all the way from California are probably small enough to make it through your mask. So stay inside. If you have a HEPA air filter, crank it up
3) Increase your lung medicine. Those with lung problems will have inhaled medication. Increase it - especially the "preventer" meds. It may save you a trip to the doctors office or hospital.
4) See your doctor sooner rather than later if you get short of breath. Some breathing problems can be subtle. The longer you procrastinate about going to see your doctor, the more likely you are to suffer severe problems.
How can you tell if it is Covid 19 or California smoke?
You don't have to. If you are having trouble from either, it is time to see a doctor. Sooner rather than later!