Surviving Air Quality Alerts

Denver had clean air long after smog choked other major cities, probably because in my youth, it was more of a cow town than a city. I remember being able to see the mountains from almost anywhere in town, but as the town grew into a city, fueled by the huge influx of people escaping the big cities in California and elsewhere, smog grew, too.

Ever since I left Denver, I’ve chosen to live in smaller places where the air is relatively clear. Where I live now is so far from any major city that I should never have to worry about air quality alerts, and yet lately the alerts come rather frequently. It has nothing to do with us; the problem is the smoke from wildfires in California being blown into Colorado and beyond.

Because of my smoke allergy, this has been a particularly rough time for me, with bad sinus headaches, lack of energy, and a bit of chest congestion. Admittedly, these problems are nothing compared to what people directly affected by the fires have to deal with, but I still have do what I can to protect myself. Today, after I watered my bushes and garden areas, I spent the day inside with the windows closed. Such precautions don’t really help much because the air seeps inside, and even after the air quality alert is cancelled, it takes days for my allergy symptoms to clear out.

Despite that, it was still a pleasant day. I lounged around most of the afternoon, reading and drinking tea.

Once this brief blog update is posted, my plans for this evening, to the extent that I have any plans, will be pretty much the same. Luckily, I have a fresh stack of books from the library as well as a large stash of tea.


Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator

2 Responses to “Surviving Air Quality Alerts”

  1. rheashowalter Says:

    I am with you… shut inside. My neighbors are all inside also. I cannot even see the mountains that are next to me. I do have a very good air purifier for smoke though and had bought new filters for it earlier in the year for “just in case.” I only have it because my husband was very sensitive to chemicals and smoke when he was alive. But it is getting used today. Another gift from him! Earlier they reported that the Front Range (I am really too far south to be considered part of the Front Range) was getting smoke from Washington and Canada and now all of the Western states. I was evacuated during the Spring Fire and even then did not have this kind of smoke. I have been in and around the area for about 10 years and this is by far the worst smoke I have seen and it looks like it will be around for awhile.

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