user icon

Marin C., NY

I never had asthma or any respiratory issues until June 7th, 2023, when I was outside for roughly 40 minutes during the Canadian wildfire smoke over NYC. I knew the air was bad, but I didn't understand how bad. I had an appointment, and they would not let me cancel, so I wore a cloth mask and braved the outdoors. 

I knew in my heart that I shouldn't be out, but I didn't listen to my intuition. That night, I had horrible chest discomfort that lasted for a week. I was prescribed an albuterol inhaler, but that didn't do anything. A week later, I came down with bronchitis that persisted for more than six weeks. I was put on multiple rounds of steroids and am still on an inhaler twice a day. I get triggered nearly every time I am outdoors, given that air quality this summer in NYC has been dismal - nearly never in the completely safe zone. 

Being outdoors during the wildfires completely impacted my life. I was sick for three months (and am still recovering, getting retrigged often) and have had to change my life completely and no longer go outdoors most days. This means I cannot take my daughter to the playground, go out for groceries or meet friends for dinner. It is incredibly lonely and isolating. It is incredibly depressing. 

I am an outdoor person and someone who loves to walk, hike and be in nature. It is immensely sad to think of this as my new future and the likely future for my daughter and many of her generation. 

The worst part about this is that no one seems to care. No one seems to get it. After having horrible air quality, NYC proceeded with 4th of July fireworks - spiraling air quality into the 300's, without anyone thinking twice. Air quality has a real impact on the quality of people's lives, and it saddens me greatly that we aren't doing more about it.

Freedom From Smoking Clinic - Richmond, VA
Richmond, VA | Sep 03, 2024
COPD Educator Course
, | Oct 17, 2024