I live in a coastal part of the Bay Area, and it is currently dark outside at 1 pm. It is one of the strangest things I have ever experienced. The air doesn’t smell like smoke, but there is a thin layer of ash coating all the cars in the neighborhood. The sky is a very disturbing orange color. The weirdest part, however, is the darkness in the middle of the day. Even my dog notices something is off.
What Is Going On?!
The thick layers of smoke currently blocking out the sun are coming from various wildfires currently burning throughout the state. The winds are blowing the smoke into the Bay Area, but the smoke is staying high enough in the atmosphere that the air quality is still relatively decent due to the protection the marine layer provides.
While the air quality is technically okay, it doesn’t exactly make the experience any less unsettling. The entire Bay Area is stuck in an apocalyptic haze. In some places, residents are reporting that it’s getting darker as the day goes on. It’s nearly impossible to go about the day as normal when something so remarkably abnormal is taking place.
The Normal in The Abnormal
The Bay Area is no stranger to the abnormal these days. Besides being an area very hard hit by COVID-19, and therefore under some of the most rigorous shelter-in-place orders, we’ve had to contend with wildfires very close to home, concerns over PG&E power shut offs, and now this strange otherworldly darkness.
It’s a lot to contend with all at once, to say the least. It feels a little bit as though we’re living in a disaster movie. And yet, although hundreds of thousands of people woke up this morning feeling as though we’ve been transported to Mars, life goes on. It’s difficult to continue about the day doing normal things when the world outside is anything but normal. Remember that in these unprecedented times, although you may still need to go to the bank and walk the dog, it’s okay to take a step back. It’s okay to hit pause on things for even just a moment to take care of your self and your sanity. We all need it. It’s now 1:30, and still dark, so I’m going to take my own advice, put down the computer, and put on a good movie.