Smog photo – Orlando… or Los Angeles?

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Smog in Orlando - February 2022

Well, this was unexpected.

Usually, we look out our hotel room and admire the astonishing landscape. One of the high points is the long building with the red roof, at the upper middle part of the photo. That’s the National Basilica of Mary, Queen of the Universe.

(Regardless of your religious views – if any – that site is worth visiting, if only as a quiet haven in a busy city. And for its magnificent sculptures, inside and on the grounds. Even better, it’s free to visit… a bit unique for Orlando.)

Yesterday, from our 15th floor hotel room – now accustomed to the scope of what we can see from here – we noticed something else.

It was startling. Those weren’t rain clouds or fog hanging over the landscape. It was smog.

Most of the day, it looked like that photo, but growing worse through the early afternoon, and then lightening (only slightly) at dusk.

And, as you can see, the highway traffic was very light for this area. (Cars are leaving I-4 at the main exit for Disney World. I think it’s Exit 68.)

The heavy pink/grey cloud over the landscape reminded me of when I used to live in L.A., back when smog was a big problem there.

Now I’m wondering about the air quality in Orlando. Until yesterday, when I could see the bigger picture (literally), I had no idea what I may have been breathing for the past ~8 years.

Wow. Maybe that’s why I always washed my hair (which seems to hold onto pollen and pollution) every time I’d been outdoors for more than a few minutes. Otherwise, I’d be congested for the rest of the day and sleep poorly.

This morning, the air looks fairly clear. Far better than yesterday. But if we were staying here, I’d definitely check the air quality regularly.

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