Trapped Like a Duck in a Closet

I’ve been sitting here trying to think how to describe the feeling of last two weeks. The straw that broke the camel’s back accurately describes the sense of having this piled on top of so many other burdens that we’re crushed, but it utterly fails to capture the added sense of being trapped inside as the last dry, sunny days of summer slip away in a toxic haze of smoke.

When I have nightmares, they usually involve being trapped somewhere. I’m in a cage or a box or tightly restrained. I usually wake up trying to escape. Continue Reading >>

Unbreathable Air: Just More 2020

2020 is the year of “what’s next?” Remember back in January, the big news was President Trump skating easily though an impeachment trial thanks to the spineless jellyfish known as Senate Republicans. In the several thousand years (in pandemic time) since then, we’ve had nearly nine months of coronavirus-mandated stay at home orders and nearly 200,000 Americans have died of COVID-19 thanks to, surprise!, criminal negligence (at best) from the top leaders in our country. Protests have erupted over social injustice and continuing racism, and now people are killing each other over it — violence encouraged and fomented by, again, the top leadership in the country. People have lost their jobs thanks to the shutdown, the government has failed to pass meaningful legislation to help those most desperately in need, and somehow wearing masks to protect people from our germs became a political act. At home, school started… and it’s exactly like the rest of the year, just another Zoom call. Continue Reading >>

What Climate Change Looks Like

Here in Seattle, people always joke that maybe climate change wouldn’t be so bad. We wouldn’t mind a little extra warm weather in the summer, thank you very much!

Well, here’s what that looks like.

Thanks to smoke from wildfires burning in Canada, Eastern Washington, Oregon, and California, the air quality has degraded to dangerous levels around here. It gets especially bad when our handy-dandy oceanic air conditioner turns off, like it did on Sunday.

Now we can’t go outside. Our home is hot, and getting hotter, and we can’t cool it off because we can’t open the windows. I can’t commute home by bike, let alone keep training, because I can’t breathe — it hurts eyes, nose, and throat to be outside any extended period of time (like more than 10 minutes), and goodness only knows the long-term impact to our lungs. We all feel low-grade sick, with runny noses, sore throats, and coughing. Continue Reading >>