Letter — Up all night coughing
Maybe no one received emergency respiratory treatment at Tahoe this last weekend, but I wonder how many had heart attacks, angina, or other health problems aggravated by a lack of oxygen. I’m still struggling with my breathe and cough cycle this Monday morning. If this doesn’t blow out of the basin today, maybe I’ll have to be a statistic receiving emergency care. Because of my post-polio condition I have limited respiratory strength, and every normal breath I take gives me barely enough of the oxygen that I need. Saturday and Sunday nighst as I tried to sleep, but coughed instead, I wondered if I’d caught pneumonia.
Earlier, I had seen the smoke outside and realized my problem wasn’t pneumonia, it was the smoke. Not being aware of the controlled burn, I muttered about the people who must be using their woodstoves and fireplaces…must be an unusual number of summer cabin folk up for a visit..and what a great opportunity to enjoy a fire and warm up from the chill outdoors, bah humbug. Then last night, after unsuccessfully trying to sleep sitting up for several hours, I called over to the police station (didn’t use 9ll, don’tcha get on my case) and found out that yes, that dense fog out their was smoke, from a controlled burn! All this suffering from a fire set on purpose.
So, you decision makers regarding controlled burns, I beg of you. When the smoke is so bad that it’s setting off people’s smoke alarms, be aware that it’s also setting off health struggles that don’t always get counted in official ways. Maybe you could plan to burn smaller areas at a time? I truly hope you will consider doing more to prevent this kind of situation. It harms many more than the area’s emergency medical services count.
Mary Lou Robinson
South Lake Tahoe
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