NEW YORK CITY - There are plenty of issues for us all to debate: politics, policy and sports. If you name the topic, both sides will argue.
But New Yorkers, whether old, young, liberal, or conservative can all agree the haze hovering over the Big Apple makes it feel rotten.
A view of the hazy city during bad air quality as smoke of Canadian wildfires brought in by wind. (Photo by Selcuk Acar/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
"It's crazy, it’s scary. I didn’t want to leave today," one shared.
"It looks like an apocalypse. I felt like I live in a war zone," another said.
People are more than open to talking to FOX 5 NY about the orange-tinted sky and the roasted fire smell that came with it.
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They’re also, for a change, open to talk with each other: perfect strangers about how strange this all is.
"I started walking from 59th Street, and I’ve been stopped and everybody’s talking about it," a local shared.
"On the elevator up and down the building like oh my God, what time did you get in, you see how fast did it turn? It’s rough and people complained they’re not feeling well," another added.
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"It’s kind of affecting me too, even though my windows are closed, and I’ve got an air system on," said clinical psychologist Dr. Jephtha Tausig.
She’s also sharing in the experience reminding us all of an inevitable commonplace mother nature has a way of putting us in.
"For some people, it may bring back some flashbacks possibly to 9/11. It could also for those that were really impacted by COVID, the fact that many people are wearing masks again, it can feel all too familiar and upsetting," she shared.
"It doesn’t matter your background. Doesn’t matter where in the city you live. All of us are going through this together, and we’re all equal in the face of this experience," she said.
Dr. Tausig said like hurricanes, the global pandemic and 9/11, the common experience reminds us of the limited amount of control we have.
"People feel that they understand one another’s experience because they’re having it too," she explained.
And at the same time raises a level of consideration for others more vulnerable to the elements we're able to face head-on, like those with asthma, pulmonary issues and heart conditions.
"It may be affecting them and their activities and potentially their functioning even more," she added.
Ultimately during the days of the haze, unlike the city’s air, one thing becomes a little more clear to see and that’s unity.
"I think it can reduce a sense of separateness, reduce a sense of difference and isolation. Everyone is experiencing what’s happening weather-wise, equally," Dr. Tausig concluded.