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The Skyline At Noon Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

13 October 2017

The air quality in the Bay area as the North Bay fires rage on has been consistently unhealthy. The Air Quality Index at the time this photo was taken today was 162.

San Francisco. From Twin Peaks at midday. You can barely make out, from left to right, the Transamerica Pyramid, City Hall, the Bank of America building, the Old Mint, Market St., the Salesforce Tower and SFMOMA.

In comparison, the AQI is 312 in Napa and 165 in Santa Rosa. Anything above 50 is unhealthy for some, to put those numbers in context, and over 200 is dangerous for everyone.

As we went around town today, we saw a lot of people (like postal workers who have to spend the day outdoors) with masks on. And we're 70 miles from the fires.

It's time like these that we, as a nation, show our true colors.

But the winds have blown the particulate this way. Our light has been filtered all week. An orange glow we don't normally see until sunset falls across our floors in the middle of the day.

That filtered light has been a reminder that we're all in this together. Whether we've lost our home or not, we're touched by the same tragedy.

Looking at that skyline today and at this weeks brown and red sunsets, we could only think of the lives that particulate contains. That smoke is from homes that have been incinerated.

No one anywhere is safe from disaster.

Flood, fire, earthquake, hurricane, tornado, the vehicle doesn't matter. In just a few moments, years of work can be wiped out, lifetimes of memories vanish, the future become bleak. Disaster changes lives.

These days there is always a hashtag-city-strong rallying cry but anyone who has lived through a disaster knows individual strength, while necessary, isn't sufficient. It takes a nation to ensure a recovery.

It's times like these that we show our true colors. Are they that untainted red, white and blue we celebrate on holidays? Or the obscure smoke you see above?

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