Wildfire Smoke

Poor Air Quality Affects Physical, Mental Health

NBC Universal, Inc.

The Bay Area is entering a record-breaking 26-day Spare the Air alert, as ominous smoke blankets the region, impacting people’s health.

Doctors say that when the air is this unhealthy, it’s like smoking a pack of cigarettes every day.

In San Jose, where it was moderate Wednesday night, it was like smoking half of a pack.

Dr. Thomas Dailey with Kaiser Permanente said that unless it’s clear and there’s no smell of smoke, don’t exercise.

“They want to get out, they’re going a little stir crazy, but the air pollution doesn’t care and it’s just as dangerous to you on day 25, if not more so, than it was on day one,” Dailey said.

Mental health experts say that the smoke combined with the pandemic is weighing on a lot of people.

Therapist Janelle Bull has been reminding her clients that this is temporary and will pass.

She said to remember to check on the mental health of children, too.

“Do some journaling about this time in all of our lives,” she said. “This is an odd time. Just breathe. Do some deep breathing, do some yoga, stretch it out. Tomorrow will come and we’ll make it through this.”

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