When I walked to work this morning, I noticed that several other early risers on the street were wearing masks. I had no idea why. Was Covid back?
It turns out that our Canadian friends have finally gifted our city with the effluvium of their wildfires: a ton of smoke in the air. In fact, the news reports that Chicago right now has the worst air in the world.
Canadian wildfire smoke pouring into Chicago has made its air quality the worst in the world Tuesday.
The World Air Quality Index ranked Chicago as the worst for air quality, with Minneapolis, Dubai, Detroit and Delhi rounding out the top five. Chicago’s air is labeled an “unhealthy” 200 by the index.
The National Weather Service blamed the conditions and low visibility on the wildfire smoke that has wafted down from Canada and impacted large regions of the United States. The service suggested limiting prolonged outdoor activities.
The funny thing is that although it’s a bit hazy out, I don’t smell smoke at all. My sniffer may be insensitive, but it hasn’t been in the past. The Washington Post says this:
Visibility in the city was down to two miles, with smoke reported in the observation from Chicago O’Hare International Airport. The Weather Service expects visibilities of 1 to 3 miles across the region for much of the day.
“You can literally smell the smoke in the air today in Chicago from the Canadian wildfires,” wrote a Twitter user.
It’s warm and partly sunny out, and normally I’d be able to see the skyscrapers of downtown from my crib. They’re six miles away. But now this is what I see: bupkes.
I guess I should stay inside, though I walked home for 25 minutes at a rapid pace and didn’t feel wheezy or anything.