Eye on the Street: How to cope with the smoke

Eye on the Street: How to cope with the smoke

Photo by Terry Ballard from Wikimedia Commons
By Carolyn Sackstein

People across Long Island and New York City experienced the worst air quality in decades. On Wednesday, June 7, the local air quality was deemed the worst in the world. 

Canadian forest fires and the resulting atmospheric pollution have been the subject of social conversations over the past week. 

After the smoke cleared, TBR News Media took to the streets of downtown Port Jefferson, asking residents and visitors how they dealt with the smoky haze and whether they had any health issues resulting from their exposure.

— Photos by Carolyn Sackstein



Connie Linzer, Port Jefferson Station

Linzer “stayed in and used eye drops and nose spray,” adding that her eyes and nose were irritated by the pollution.







Sheila Garafola, with dog Pinto, Port Jefferson 

“I’d take him out for shorter walks than I used to. Sometimes, I will even use a mask. I have many masks from the pandemic. I sometimes feel a little scratchy. It doesn’t affect me that negatively. I am aware that I am breathing in a few extra morsels. The dog is OK. He is just happy to be out there,” Garafola shared.





Victoria D’Angelo, with daughter Aidlee Zachary, and Diego Sanchez, Pensacola, Florida

“We flew into LaGuardia last Wednesday when they were having issues,” D’Angelo said. “Our flight was delayed about 45 minutes because of it. When we flew in, it was a little smoky, but it cleared out on Thursday.” Sanchez nodded in agreement. 

Zachary said, “I was coughing because of it the next day.”




John Suozzi, Mattituck

“Had to deal with it by virtue of traveling to work. It meant paper masks when I was outside and exposed for any period of time. Recirculation of air in the cabin of my car.” Suozzi added that he coped with the conditions by “staying indoors during the peak times of difficulty … when you could just spoon it up!”





Jacqueline Poten, Port Jefferson

“We just stayed inside.” When asked if anyone in her family had health issues from exposure to the pollution, Poten replied, “No, not us, but I heard stories about people having asthma, having trouble breathing.”