Californians were warned today to protect themselves by staying both inside and outside, due to the ongoing risks associated with the Covid-19 pandemic as well as hazardous air quality from multiple wildfires.
“Things are really burning down right now. And now that that’s no longer just a metaphor, it’s important to protect yourself by remaining indoors and running your air conditioning. If you don’t have access to a good AC unit, you could go to a local library or grocery store,” warned Eureka fire chief Rusty Dangles. “That inky black smoke isn’t just all that remains of your neighbor’s hopes and dreams — it’s also a health risk, and it can do irreversible damage to your lungs.”
At the same time, epidemiologists seemed to contradict the message about staying indoors and encouraged Californians to remain vigilant about Covid-19.
“Our state is coming up on one million cases, and everyone needs to remember that transmission rates are dramatically reduced outdoors,” said infection diseases expert Myla Mergo, pointing at the blood-red sky outside the California epidemiology lab. “Also, air conditioning can spread the virus, so while your A/C can protect you from smoke, try not to run it. Unlike the air in California, my message is clear: because smoke from wildfires can irritate your lungs and make you more vulnerable to infections, you should remain both indoors and outdoors. I know that might be tough for a lot of people, but that just means more residents should be looking into really tall towers, luxury helicopters, or gazebos with quantum entanglement features.”
Some Californians admit they are confused by the messaging coming from local leaders.
“You’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t,” said homeowner Shirley Jakarta, standing in a doorway for safety. “What am I supposed to do? Put in a covered porch? I think it’s all a bunch of bullshit to scare us anyway.”
At press time, Jakarta was wearing a beekeeper’s suit, holding a large umbrella, and staring dubiously at a four-dimensional Venn diagram released by her county health department.