SAHARAN DUST STORMS


Two Saharan Dust Storms, Hit the United States, One Week Apart  (Source: "The Conversation")

Biggest Saharan Dust Storm In 50 Years Hits the U.S.A. on Thursday, 2020-06-25  (New York Post) 

Similar Story from a Better Source  (Newsweek)

Health Impacts  (New York Post, quoting expert from Cornell University)

Similar Story from a Better Source  ("The Conversation")

Another Saharan Dust Cloud To Hit the U.S.A. on Tuesday, 2020-06-30  (U.S.A. Today)

Or In July 2020  (Source: Yale Climate Connections

Okay, so Africa has sent us something like their Harmattan... thank you?*  ;-) 

*The dust clouds coming over from the Sahara inhibit the formation of hurricanes, at least for the time being... so, for that, yes, thank you.  :-)   

Too bad that wasn't August, September, or October, though, when hurricane season is at its height... unfortunately, those months aren't expected to be much (if any) different from any other hurricane season... sigh... 

As a severe asthmatic (means I have symptoms to one degree or another [mild, moderate, or severe symptoms] multiple times every day, despite "control" medications which do help but which don't entirely solve the problem)... since the age of one... and also as someone with a history of symptoms sometimes becoming moderate-to-severe rather quickly (sometimes requiring hospitalization) when not very careful in multiple ways--(and sometimes [rarely] even when I am careful)--I needed to remain indoors when these Saharan dust clouds were affecting our area. 

It's true that becoming about 98% vegan in 2011 has helped a lot regarding reduced exacerbations of asthma from pulmonary infections--(always before my "Achilles' Heel")--not having occurred again, so far, ever since then (knock on wood)... and that it's also reduced daily symptoms from other causes, too. However, this was a massive air-pollution event, and given what's in those dust particles ("...it presents more serious problems for asthmatics... and the risk that it can lead to acute silicosis, ["...symptoms {can} happen a few weeks... after exposure to a large amount of silica..."], due to the high content of quartz in the Saharan dust)... as well as the fact that about 30% of the particles are fine, and fine particles can cause more serious problems, I didn't want to take any chances, because (a) I noticed that vehicles and other things outside were coated with a thin layer of very fine dust, and anytime the door to the house was open for even just a moment, I felt the impact in my lungs, especially at the very bottom of my lungs. Fortunately, my usual meds were effective, and didn't become ineffective, which has happened before when not careful enough; and (b) the hospital was (and is) the last place I want to go right now... well, ever again... but especially right now... so, I stayed inside during these worse-than-usual Saharan dust-storm events. 

Of course, I had been staying mostly inside my house anyway, due to the COVID-19 pandemic (and have been staying entirely at home, never going beyond my backyard, most days every month since late-March 2020 when lockdowns began in the U.S.A.), but when the Saharan dust clouds were affecting our area, I remained entirely indoors.

I hope those giant Saharan dust clouds will be the last of that intensity to hit the U.S.A. for at least another several decades... on the other hand, if so, then there likely would be more hurricanes moving in the direction of the United States... if you read this other article, also from "Yale Climate Connections" (scroll down to the last paragraph on that page)... that's exactly what's expected for the future... sigh... it's good news for Africa, though, as they're expected to have lower levels of dust in the air in the future.  :-) 


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