It is February, and the second winter of Covid-19 isolation is upon us.   On rare mild winter days, we look for signs of hope.  We are surprised by joy when a flock of robins suddenly hops across the yard like a Broadway chorus line. Their spirit is contagious, so even when temperatures are still frigid, we find excuses to bundle up and head outside.  Like bears groggy from hibernation, we breathe in mouthfuls of cold bracing air and reconnect with the world.

by Cathy Salter

But beware.  For those with asthma, caution is advised when you go outdoors in the cold.  I recall that my friend Win Horner always wore a mask when going out in extremely cold weather. I also remember reading about Teddy Roosevelt’s childhood struggle with debilitating asthma while growing up in urban Manhattan.  He overcame his childhood health problems through physical exercises that expanded his chest and by adopting a strenuous outdoor lifestyle in the American West that gave him his “cowboy” persona.

A year into the coronavirus pandemic, we are eager to get vaccinated as soon as possible. I am 75.  Kit is 82, a Type -1 diabetic (for 47 years), and has asthma.  During a normal flu season, coughs and a host of other respiratory pronouncements frequently punctuate conversations and can become a cause for concern.  In extremely cold weather, some people wrestle with persistent respiratory ailments that hang on for weeks or months, only to return with a vengeance before the person is fully well. The air we breathe can make a person with asthma feel as though they were drowning. 

~ Read the rest in today’s Journal ~