Nearby wildfires affect valley residents

December 7, 2020

As a result of the recent wildfires that have occurred around the California Bay Area, many individuals have been negatively affected by the clouds of smoke and ash rain that the fires have caused. Inhalation of smoke or particulates can cause trouble breathing due to sputum buildup in the lungs and can cause headaches for most people. Those “at-risk” react differently to the inhalation of smoke and particulates.

A variety of pulmonary ailments with varying degrees of severity exist in our world today. However, COVID-19 isn’t the only thing that those who are “at-risk” with these ailments should worry about. Excessive amounts of particulates in the air can prove to be just as deadly, especially to those who are older. Individuals with diseases such as Asthma or COPD have a greater chance of being diagnosed with degraded lungs, according to The American Lung Association.

Miss Barr, one of Turlock High School’s fellow teachers, has revealed her situation in dealing with such diseases. She is severely asthmatic and is having a hard time maintaining her health, as a result of the amount of smoke and particulates, even with medicine that is meant to help. However, with the recent stay at home order for all students and “at-risk” teachers, she does a lot better when they are in the safety and comfort of their own home. While she is home, she can use technology like purifiers, humidifiers, and have control over her airflow. 

Even people without respiratory ailments aren’t spared from the wrath of the West Coast fires or the COVID-19 virus. Smoke and particulate inhalation can cause coughing, phlegm build-up, and headaches, while the virus can have even more severe effects on one’s health. Having your lungs damaged by smoke inhalation and then contracting COVID-19 can make the symptoms above more severe or even deadly. 

With this information, it would be in everyone’s best interest to make sure that they stay inside if possible. It is important for individuals to always wash or disinfect their hands, and do anything else they’re recommended to do by our health professionals in order to stay safe.

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