(Note 1: This post was written two weeks ago, so if there is anything important that I’ve missed, that’s why.)
(Note 2: Oof. I definitely missed some important stuff.)
You guys know I try to keep this blog as knitting-focused as possible, I don’t share a lot of baby pictures or TV recommendations (unless they’re knitting-related) or recipes. And I really try not to talk too much about politics. Not because politics aren’t important or interesting, but because lately they get me worked up, stressed out, and anxious. Knitting (and this blog) is my way to unwind and relax. I can control my knitting. My stitches make sense. I can imagine a design, plan it, work it through and execute it. (Usually.)
All that is to say, I’ve had a lot of extra time to knit this week. Which is great- my current project, which you’ll hear about soon, is almost finished.
But the reason I’ve had so much time to knit is that I literally haven’t left the house in 6 days.
6. Days. Stuck inside with a toddler. No walks around the block, no trips to the park, no play-dates with the one other family in our pod. Nothing.
And why have I been inside for that long? You might think Covid. Which would be partially correct. We’ve been in fairly heavy-duty lockdown for the last 6+ months, but we were able to go outside, work in the yard and visit the beach to look for crabs. Our library has been closed and we have preschool over Zoom. My 2-year old hasn’t been on a playground since March.
But this last week, the few things that were left to us were taken away when wildfires sprung up all up and down the west coast. Washington is on fire. Oregon is on fire. California is on fire. My parents (who live in Chicago) are feeling the effects of the fire; it’s sending so much smoke up into the air that even 2000 miles away, their sky is overcast and smoky.
And here, it’s been “Very Unhealthy” for almost a week. Today is the best I’ve seen in 5 days, and it’s still on the high end of “Unhealthy.” Our air is like pea soup. I went to grab the mail yesterday, and my eyes watered and itched from being outside for only a minute.
And the crazy part is, we’re the lucky ones. We’re healthy. Our part of Washington is not in danger of burning up. We have a comfortable house and plenty of space inside. We have enough food and water and access to the internet.
There are usually wildfires in late summer, they’re a natural part of the seasons in this part of the country. But the last few years have gotten out of control. This year is the worst I’ve seen since I moved out here more than 10 years ago. This is not normal.
It’s also worth noting that this year’s hurricane season is going crazy, there have already been fires and snowstorms out in Colorado, and there was (essentially) a hurricane in Iowa (Iowa!). Climate change is real, and it’s making itself known in a really obvious and scary way.
All this is to say, this fall’s election is vitally important in a way that has never been more clear. If we reelect climate-change-denying elected officials (Trump foremost among them), there’s absolutely no way for us to come back from this, or even slow down its progress. These will become the “good old days” when we “only had to shelter for a week every fire season” and “only had to worry about one pandemic at a time.”
If you haven’t registered yet, and don’t know how to do it, let me know! I will literally help you register. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Email me! I will help you figure out how to vote and where your polling place is and if you have access to absentee voting in your state!
If you haven’t figured out who you are voting for yet, also let me know! From national office to state or city- I will happily research anyone you need more information on. (Looking for candidates that support the Green New Deal is a great way to start.)
So, please, please, please register to vote this year, and if you can, please vote early. And (it should go without saying, but I’ll say it anyway), please vote Biden/Harris.