I am in the throes of a horrifying migraine. The take two Imitrax and pray type. It’s also the nausea inducing type so I’ve not eaten all day. I feel awful. And it’s mostly not my own fault even though I often like to blame flares in symptoms on my own lack of discipline or purity in maintaining some Platonic ideal of lifestyle or wellness regimen.
It is fire season in the west and I’m sure some, if not most, of my migraine is tied to the horrifying air quality that is choking out thousands of miles of California, Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana.
The AQI or air quality index in my neck of the woods is 160. Unhealthy for sensitive individuals is the coy and somewhat misleading phrase used. It means in practical terms visibility is so bad I can’t see the mountains a few miles away.
Montana is at the moment free of any major fires. Our colder temperatures, lack of pervasive fire beetle blight, and reduced density makes it statistically safer than the Colorado front range when it comes to total fire danger. But it’s no safer from prevailing winds and the pollution from fire in other states. In order to escape from it entirely I’d probably have to leave the continent.
I’ve obviously opted not to leave my home region of the mountain west even if I have accepted moving to a more northern and protected corner of it. But there is a certain existential “No Exit” sense I have with AQI and fire season in general. It may just be my lot in life. Maybe it’s everyone’s lot. To give up your homeland is a complicated fight. I expect for some of humanity it must involve either certain death or the prospect of great riches