California’s mask situation

Aubrianna Martinez, News Editor

With the arrival of California’s wildfire season and currently seven ongoing situations according to CAL Fire’s website, there is plenty of cause for concern for not only being in the path of a wildfire but the other dangers that they pose. In areas such as Kern County, poor air quality is frequently a factor in discussions of health, especially where wildfires are concerned. Additionally, the Delta variant of COVID-19 threatens public safety, and some wonder if there is an intersection between the two health problems: masks.

After a year of mask mandates in the golden state and requirements continuing in certain locations for people to don them before entering, the question of whether or not the face masks that people are wearing to combat COVID-19 and its variants could also protect one from the effects of wildfires that alter the air quality. The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District issued a news release on Aug 27 that is available on their website, stating that fumes from recent wildfires have resulted in an air quality alert being issued. 

Within the news release, the Air Pollution Control District cited the multitude of health issues that could be affected by the poor air quality and on the subject of face masks that most have taken to wearing during the pandemic.

“Common cloth and paper masks being used as protection from COVID-19 may not be sufficient protection from smoke inhalation” the Air Pollution Control District said in their press release.