Is it a singing, dancing, fun-loving smog? Will it spontaneously burst into a loud but entertaining, story interspersed with colorful language? Or perhaps, it is a smog which loves its food like no one else can?
Sadly, none of the above. The current smog is a very atypical form of air pollution and has nothing in common with typical Lahoris. This is a respiratory nightmare for the residents of Lahore, to spoil the very start of the winter season itself.
What is smog?
The word ‘smog’ is a portmanteau (a new word formed with the merger of two separate words) of the words ‘smoke’ and ‘fog’. It is used to describe the visible haze that lingers in the air and reduces general visibility. It is made up of the smoke emitted from vehicles and from factories, which then react chemically in the presence of sunlight to form these unpleasant clouds.
2 days ago, Lahore woke up to a blanket of smog in the early hours of the morning. According to the DG Meteorological Department of Pakistan, Dr. Ghulam Rasool “It has not rained and the situation might remain the same till end of December”. This just might be a major hint for all of us to pray for the rain collectively. Another angle to the story of crop burning in the neighboring country and their current environmental scenario is also being debated as we speak.
How to stay safe?
If residents have to suffer smog for a long time, they should know how to keep themselves safe. Here are some 7 smart tips from FM91 to help you in the not-so-pleasant smog situation:
Avoid outdoor excursions: If there is a nasty cloud of poisonous fumes and sulfur fumes, this is what you should do. Common sense will tell you stay home and avoid unnecessary risk to your respiratory system by limiting exposure outdoors.
Wear a mask: If you must leave your home, as most of us do, then wear a mask which limits your exposure to the noxious fumes.
Avoid high-traffic areas: The risk of inhaling poisonous fumes is greater in areas where there is a greater volume of emissions. So, if possible, stay away from traffic or other areas of toxic emissions and always be protected.
Drink plenty of fluids: Drinking more fluids will prevent your throat from drying and will keep you hydrated.
Seek medical attention: If you experience shortness of breath or a general feeling of faintness, then immediately seek medical care. Don’t be shy: smog is actually a potentially serious health risk.
Keep the windows shut: Keep all the windows shut at your workplace or home to avoid smog. Now is not exactly the perfect time for fresh air
Keep the exhaust fans on: Try to keep the exhaust fans on to the maximum to keep the unhealthy smog out as much as possible
So, Lahori or non Lahori, smog can be dangerous and unfriendly. It is certainly not the usual fog which people love associating the winter season with. Sorry folks, now is not the time to rejoice. Next time you get in contact with smog, try to stay calm and follow FM91’s advice. Stay safe, stay healthy and keep it tuned to FM91.