Visitors need to be warned about vog, not haze

Those invested in tourism, politics and health care have taken to calling vog – which is powerfully and deeply deleterious to one’s health – haze.

Haze does not bring to mind poisonous gases and penetrating particulate matter. A couple of years back, I did what the authorities should have done. I sent letters to various newspapers in California, Canada and Japan warning individuals with respiratory, sinus and headache problems to check the atmospheric conditions before coming to Maui.

It was during a very bad and prolonged vog alert that I did this, after first checking with various pharmacies to see if there had been a spike in the sales of a number of drugs.

Sales of drugs for pain management far exceed other drug sales, even antibiotics by unbelievable margins, but one can see the spikes in the sales of respiratory and sinus drugs, and the visits to hospitals and doctors, regarding difficulties in breathing, during heavy vog days.

Although no one is to blame for the vog, someone is to blame for calling it haze; and others are to blame for not warning visitors, especially the elderly.

It is clear that we can predict the arrival of vog and the extent of its stay.

They used to say, by way of compliment: “See Naples and die.” Let us find a way to responsibly warn people before myself and others take it upon ourselves to more sensationally warn visitors.

Raphael O’Suna