Carbon Monoxide – The Silent Killer
This picture came direct from the CDC
Did you know that more than fifty thousand people visit the emergency room each year, and of those people 400 will die from carbon monoxide poisoning? There are even rare occasions where carbon monoxide is used as a suicide measure. Often times the individual will sit inside a running car with nothing allowing air circulation.
Carbon monoxide can be very hard to detect as it is colorless and odorless (hence the name "silent killer"). Symptoms can be very similar to every day ailments: headache, nausea, dizziness, chest pain, and other flu like symptoms. It can represent the flu without the fever. It can also mask itself so that you feel better when you leave an environment. So, if you are feeling ill inside, and you go outside and find your symptoms going away, then it may be CO poisoning. Carbon monoxide binds to hemoglobin and prevents those cells from carrying oxygen. Those with weakened immune systems (such as elderly and infants) can have an increased risk of getting sick from carbon monoxide. It can be fatal.
What kinds of things can emit carbon monoxide? Portable space heaters, gas heaters, an old furnace, or a gas oven can all emit the gas. You can also risk exposure if you use outdoor camping related products indoors; such as a camping stove, or charcoal grill.
Adequate ventilation is the key when using one of these types of entities. It is also wise to install carbon monoxide detectors in your home (or business) when using these types of appliances.
*photo from CDC website
It's Virtually the Holidays
As we came out of our first month donning the world of virtual family gatherings, we step into a second month of those possibilities. Many of us find ourselves questioning how we are going to make the festivities we celebrate in December feel joyous. We find ourselves struggling with what it will all look like, how the logistics need to line up and work out, and it's causing additional holiday stress.
As we have been organizing things with our families we have pondered many questions. How? When? Will we have a meal together somehow? Open gifts? Share some spirits? What platform will we use? How much time do we need to set aside? How are we going to feel?
Keep this in mind. The season is meant to bring cheer, don't lose sight of that. Try not to stress all the little details of your time together, they will fall into place. You will ultimately feel what you want.
As someone who is adjusting to their best friend moving thousands of miles away during a pandemic (making it impossible to physically visit), we have learned how to make things seem more like we are still together. Here are some suggestions to make it feel a little more "normal".
- Virtually bake together
- Prepare a meal together
- Build a gingerbread house together
- Watch a movie together (we stream and try to just start at the same time)
- Open gifts together on a video platform
- Take turns opening them
- Host a virtual secret santa
- Cheers a virtual drink the same way
- Setup a video gaming campaign
There are several video chatting services available. FaceTime, Facebook video, Alexa Show, Zoom, Teams, and Google connect are just a few.
Remember, it's a time for cheer. We hope you all have happy holidays, however possible!