It's been about 3 weeks now and every time I walk outside it takes me a minute to realize that it’s not cloudy or overcast. The smoke from forest fires shows up in the Treasure Valley every year and most of us think nothing of it but with COVID it seems like we’re all a little weary of all things respiratory. Sunday mornings Mateo and I tend to make our way to Waffle Me Up downtown for our favorite breakfast. This particular Sunday I was blown away by the haze I walked into as I left the house but I didn’t think much of it until I started driving towards Downtown and realized that I could not see Deer Point. Bogus was nowhere in sight, it was literally a wall of gray that I was staring at. All I could think of was, how unhealthy is this? Here is the answer to that very question based on data reported by  AirNow.com Monday at 2pm the air quality index was 140 in the Treasure Valley. What does that mean?


AQI: Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups (101 - 150)
Although general public is not likely to be affected at this AQI range, people with lung disease, older adults and children are at a greater risk from exposure to ozone, whereas persons with heart and lung disease, older adults and children are at greater risk from the presence of particles in the air.

If you think that’s bad, check out these ratings:
AQI: Unhealthy (151 - 200)
Everyone may begin to experience health effects; members of sensitive groups may experience more serious health effects.

AQI: Very Unhealthy (201 - 300)
Health alert: everyone may experience more serious health effects.

AQI: Hazardous (301 - 500)
Health warnings of emergency conditions. The entire population is more likely to be affected.

 

Mask anyone?