Since August of 2020, the west coast of the United States has been burning. In California, the recent lightning storms sparked fires all around, predominantly in the Bay Area, then spreading into other areas and states.
In an area prone to wildfires, every year California prepares for the dry weather and fires. However, with the novel coronavirus, this year’s firefighters were faced with a different series of troubles. COVID-19, a contagious respiratory lung disease, proved to have another cause: dangerous smoke.
While there is a correlation between the two, the CDC states that “Wildfire smoke can irritate your lungs, cause inflammation, affect your immune system, and make you more prone to lung infections, including SARS-CoV-2, the virus that cause COVID-19.”
On the other hand, the consitent air quality levels of over 150 US AQI (while safe good air quality is less than 40 US AQI) has proven to keep more people locked in their homes, preventing spread of COVID-19. People have stayed home in prvention of inhaling the burning smoke and in hopes of reducing contact.
With two dangerous factors swarming the air along the west coast, both the pandemic and the smoke, safety and health has become a high priority in all aspects of life.