If you were trapped in a desert for months with only dirty, polluted water to drink, you would undoubtedly jump at the chance to buy for good, clean mountain water. A bottle of that stuff would probably come at a premium, considering your location and circumstance. But if you were thirsty for clean water, you’d pay practically anything.
Beijing is suffering from a similar problem right now. Although they aren’t trapped in an arid desert, their city has been put on a red alert over its high levels of pollution. These levels are so high, in fact, that a certain company is selling bottles of fresh mountain air to people at an exorbitant price. But, just like the desert scenario, people are shelling out up to $28 a bottle for premium oxygen. A local restaurant has also purchased air filtration machines, and are now charging extra for customers to partake of the clean air whilst enjoying their meal.
Aside from charging for oxygen (which thing seems mind boggling), a new fashion trend has cropped up in China that helps keep people’s lungs clear of the pervasive pollution: surgical masks.
Apparently, surgical masks are all the rage in many Asian countries. Because there are such high levels of pollution in many cities and widespread illness, surgical masks need to be worn outside to avoid becoming sick. And, since they are such a constant part of life now, these new wardrobe additions have been fashioned into something a little more stylish.
We can learn an important lesson from these fashionable face masks.
When it comes to being prepared, don’t forget about your health. There is a lot of information out there about how to prepare for disasters and other unsavory circumstances, but we often overlook the need of maintaining proper health. In Beijing and other areas of the world, pollution is very prevalent. We are fortunate here to not be surrounded by so much airborne filth. But just because we aren’t at a state of emergency due to pollution doesn’t mean we aren’t at risk.
For example, here in Utah we experience what is known as a temperature inversion. This happens when a high pressure system hovers over the mountains, forcing the cold air down. Exhaust from cars, smoke from fire places, and other such things that dirty the air get trapped underneath the high pressure system, thus creating a thick, smoggy fog that in many cases exceeds the EPA’s health standard.
This is just one example of how our health can be compromised even during times of peace. Face masks might be advisable during such situations. It’s not just pollution that can make us sick, however. Airborne illness can also be a threat. Face masks will also help against those sicknesses, too.
Being prepared for the future involves being prepared for more than just earthquakes and tornadoes. It involves taking precautions to protect your health. After all, being healthy in an emergency is just as important (if not more so) as being healthy during regular, uneventful days.
If you live in an area where inversions are common, you know they can – and will – happen, so be prepared for them. If you don’t, then take a look around and come up with a list of possible health threats. Whether you live in the big city or country, there will always be health issues you can prepare for. Whether it’s pollution, airborne illness or some other villain, take the steps necessary to prepare for those events.
How do you prepare for health threats in your area?