I’m on voluntary house arrest because of the haze outside. Polluntant Standards Index (PSI) as of an hour ago was 263. A PSI reading of 101-200 means the air is unhealthy while a reading of 201-300 is very unhealthy. Anything above that is hazardous. That reading is actually good news because the PSI went down from yesterday. There was a sense of mild panic in the air yesterday (aside from the pervasive burnt wood smell), when the PSI reading reached upwards of 400! People went about trying to buy the right masks, and of course, it was sold out, with rumors floating around that they were selling 10 (or more) times the usual price, if you could find one.
So, what to do when you’re stuck at home? Me, I try to make inroads into the book debt, of course! Just finished The Expats by Chris Pavone — a must read! And now starting on This is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz, which was a birthday present from Chiquit over at Dish About Design. I’m also continuing Stephen King’s Under the Dome, which I have been trying to finish for more than a year now, an epic undertaking for someone like me who usually manages to finish a King book in days. Don’t get me wrong. The book is great and according to reviewers, one of his best. I just couldn’t get into it, for some reason… Hmmm, come to think of it, maybe this is not the best book to be reading at this time. I am not prone to claustrophobia, but reading about a town trapped under a glass dome, kind of feels like being in Singapore these days since the city is trapped under this cloud of smoke. It’s unnerving not to see nearby buildings clearly even in broad daylight, there is no wind, and the sun at midday is not as strong because it’s filtered through smoke. Last night I was looking at the moon and it was reddish through the haze. Sigh. It really wouldn’t surprise me if birds started falling off trees in the next few days!
And never mind the birds, what about those with jobs outside airconditioned offices, like construction workers who have to work breathing in this smoke soup. I hope they were the first ones issued with the masks by their employers!
In the meantime, here are two articles from Yahoo! on how to mitigate the impact of the haze: How to minimize health impact of the haze and How to protect your pets from haze. And last as many a TV sergeant will tell cops, and also good advice for everyone right now, “Be careful out there!”