Fire and Smoke
September 21, 2020 update Part 15
Paul Herscu ND, MPH
I have, over the past many decades, been incredibly impressed by the public health infrastructure and work accomplished in the USA and abroad. In general, developing processes that help the many, those with means and those without means equally. And in general, it is impressive to examine the ability for governments to intersect with NGOs and stakeholders in an ever-evolving partnership to offer health and safety quickly and efficiently.
That said there are at times gaps in this process. And often those gaps fall in what for lack of a better term I might fit within the ‘here is a quick and easy and inexpensive do-it-yourself solution’ for whatever the issue at hand might be.
I bring this up as I received an email from a patient in California describing how bad the smoke is from the fires burning all around her city. And even though she does not go outside, it is in the apartment, and is irritating her eyes, nose and throat. She has tried several solutions in her space but the problem persists. And also, since she lives in a garden apartment, it costs too much to develop a central air solution for the owner, and even if he would want to, everyone who can do that work is already too busy and would be placed on a waiting list. But the problem exists right now. What to do?
I would like to describe a very simple solution that almost everyone could do and afford. I think there may be a few public health authorities that might mention this but in fact this has not been generalized and most people do not know this. So, if you do know someone in that area pass this along.