Around the World

Hallie Witwer
MOSCOW, RUSSIA – Images of Moscow’s population navigating the city with masks covering their faces have become daily parts of world news. Peat fires burning just outside Russia’s capitol have caused the entire city to be shrouded in a dark blanket of smog. The Moscow Times states that spending just one hour outside is equivalent to smoking sixty to seventy cigarettes, and we know these people aren’t getting any of the enjoyment that regular smokers receive from their daily sticks.

I guess I always thought of widespread mask wearing as a thing of the near past (9/11) or of a distant science fiction-like future. Moscow temperatures are only getting hotter though, causing the smog to do anything but lessen as the fires burn forth. I’m sure everyone in Moscow has been on better behavior lately, having had a taste of just how uncomfortable Hell may be.

This concerns me as an Ohioan for two reasons. 1.) I’m a human being! I care and feel for others when I see them wading through trauma. 2.) One can’t deny the rising number of extreme weather our entire planet has seen this past year. It makes me wonder what’s next, and whether America will be hit again. (Another Katrina, perhaps?)

I prefer to think that we’ll all be okay. Our nation and others will remain safe or fully recover from disaster. However my common sense, though admittedly lacking at times, tells me that we have more worrying to do than writing off.