Who gets to breathe?

Today as I’m paging through reviews for $800 HEPA filters in an early smoke season during a pandemic, I’m remembering a sci-fi story where you had to buy clean air and poor people coughed and scrimped for air canisters and died.

If we’d fixed ventilation and air purification instead of just shutting restaurants and gyms down repeatedly, we’d have gone a long way toward dealing with covid – plus the flu and colds. But we’d also have set ourselves up for less disruptive smoke seasons.