Opinion: Smoke, ash and foul air

September 26, 2020

According to Cal Fire’s website, the California wildfires have destroyed more than 3,627,010 acres throughout the state. This includes 26 fatalities and the loss of 7,196 structures. 


The smoke and ash have created some of the worst air quality in recorded history. The hazy grey air and the face masks worn to thwart the Coronavirus reminds me of movies with mutant, apocalypse zombies. 
The anxiety level of the average citizen must be extremely high. The feeling sneaks up on me. I am going through the day breathing air pollution and wearing a mask as I live my very small life. And a wave of dread sweeps over me as I wonder how long we will be living with this new normal. I try to fight it by being thankful the fires and rioting are not happening to me, yet. 


Counting my blessings does help some to chase away the Heebie-Jeebies that come with an anxiety attack. 


If the waves of anxious fear could be measured and seen as a rainbow after a storm. I wonder what deadly colors the fear, pain and misery would generate?


Between the COVID-19 pandemic, the contentious upcoming presidential election, the loss of homes and employment and the terror felt by so many people, the country is at an emotional low that has rarely been seen in America. 


As I have said before, I have every confidence that the Madera County Registrar of Voters will conduct our balloting with accuracy. I am afraid for the rest of the country.  


Registered voters will receive their ballots by mail, and they can use the enclosed pre-paid stamped envelope to return their ballots or, if they don’t trust the post office, they can hand-deliver their voted ballot to a drop-off box, a voting center or the Madera County Government Center. 


Fear of the hijinks possible while using the U.S. Postal Service for this all-important election, voters can be afraid their ballots will be mishandled. Some are so fed up with the process that apathetic voters may decide not to vote at all. 


It doesn’t matter to me who a person votes for as long as they show up and cast their ballot. 


Both Democrats and Republicans have said that no matter who wins the election, they will scream voter fraud, and refuse to accept the results. The country is so divided, is a landslide victory for either candidate even possible?


It is easy for private citizens to understand what happens in the Nation’s Capital as almost completely out of our control. Correspondence and social media missives are good ways to vent frustrations, but rarely have any effect on the real-world events that consume the news feeds in the Mainstream Media or on the Internet.


Families dealing with homeschooling are now faced with the decision to send their children back to school.  


Children who are home-schooled miss out on so much knowledge that comes for in-person learning. Face-to-face education teaches students to get along with their contemporaries, forge life-long friendships and become individuals. And not the products of overprotective helicopter parents. 


Just as the military takes young men and women and turns them into adults, schools take babies and instruct them to become children with independence. 


In addition to a fear of school shootings or other violence, parents naturally fear their children will become infected with the Coronavirus and the flu season brings its own health concerns.  


Will people trust a vaccination championed by President Donald Trump’s Administration? They don’t seem to have faith in any other plan, he announces.


Count your blessings, long days and pleasant nights. Have a great weekend. 


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Readers may contact Tami Jo Nix by emailing tamijonix@gmail.com or following @TamiJoNix on Twitter.

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