Haze update: we’re staying alive

No matter where we turn, it follows us. And we can’t get rid of it.

The haze.

Since SAS has open hallways, we are in the haze all the time and many high school students are sick of it. Literally

Photo of Rosie Hogan (me) from Izzie Riant
Rosie Hogan prepares for a Morning Show on a particularly hazy morning. Photo by Izzie Riant

School nurse Cheryl Kimball said kids come into the nurse’s office with “headaches, sore throats and an overall ill feeling.”

All of these symptoms are caused by the haze.

Friday, Sept. 25, was a particularly hazy day and SAS students didn’t have school, but faculty had an inservice day and masks were given out to those who wanted them.

That same Friday, all public schools in Singapore were cancelled because the PSI was over 300. According to Asia One, the western part of the island had an astonishing PSI of 321, which is considered “extremely hazardous.”

In the elementary school, students have been trapped inside for recess for weeks. Second grade teacher Lisa Hogan said, “SAS has a policy that once the PSI goes past 150, outdoor activities are cancelled. So the kids (second graders) have been staying indoors for both morning and afternoon recess building with legos, constructing with kinects, playing with dominos and creating iMovies about their daily learning.”

In the first few days of the haze, most people thought it would pass quickly. But now, this is becoming an enduring reality. Students across the entire student body are unable to focus in class because of the side effects from the haze. Celine Fan said, “The haze makes my everydaze terrible.”

Junior Michelle Fan is also suffering from the haze. “My eyes get red and puffy and I have really bad asthma.”

Celine agreed. “The haze makes me dizzy and I can’t see where I’m going sometimes.”

IMG_2766
Another hazy day in Singapore. Photo by Rosie Hogan

Junior Tammi Fung, who missed school due to the haze, said, “I might be imagining it, but I feel like when I step into the haze my eyes get irritated and I can feel some pressure on my nose. It definitely makes me dizzy and makes it harder to get work done…I actually didn’t go to school on Tuesday because my throat is really sore; I keep coughing and my nose is stuffy.”

According to Raffles Medical Group, short term exposure can lead to eye, nose, and throat irritation, as well as increase skin irritation for people who suffer from eczema. Long term exposure can lead to reduced lung function and worsening of heart diseases. It’s even suggested that long term exposure to air pollution can lead to an increased risk of cancer.

As the days pass, the haze seems to be improving slightly. So keep singing to yourself, “The sun will come out tomorrow!” and hopefully the haze will grant your wishes soon.

Author: Rosie Hogan

Rosie Hogan is a senior and one of the co editors of The Eye. Rosie has lived in Singapore for the majority of her life but goes back home to the states for her summers. When she’s not busy writing you can find her eating grilled cheese sandwiches, jamming out to Taylor Swift and watching Criminal Minds. She can be contacted at hogan33482@sas.edu.sg.

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