We Asked…

We Asked…

We asked readers to share on social media and in our weekly newsletter: In what ways have environmental changes in the Great Lakes region impacted your health? Thank you to all who responded. Here’s what you said….


I am not sure how it impacts my health. I would say maybe mentally because the seasons are a bit more unpredictable.

Beth Comer, Westlake, Ohio


Im a poetry fan and really appreciate nature poetry perhaps now more than ever.

—JudithEllen via email


The news always stresses me out with their reports on the heat and how it is the hottest day EVER. I dont tolerate the heat (and never could), even as a child. All the reports are truly nerve wracking!

Margie Brandt, Vernon Hills, Illinois


My 4-year-old son has had an increase in ER visits due to asthma attacks. I’ve had to keep him home/inside many days due to wildfire smoke/terrible AQI this summer.

—Megan Lenzen, Chicago


I had to stop working in my garden for several days, and close my windows as well. I do not use air conditioning in my house so this was an ironic moment, as I consciously make the choice to refrain from using the extra electricity to pollute less, while therefore suffering from pollution more.

Karen Roothaan, Chicago


Air quality is dropping and has forced me to stay inside more even on nice weather days. I am running less and golfing less because the air quality is so bad this summer.

—Jon Stevanovich, Chicago


Its killing me. At 44 years old I now have asthma and a cough that I never had before.

Mona Claudia Flores, Chicago


Staying indoors for several days was really rough, especially for my kids. I worry about the impact on our mental health more than anything.

Silvia Rodríguez, Evanston, Illinois


I’ve been getting a ton of migraines. I mentioned the uptick to my neurologist when I was recently in and she said that many people are going to the ER because of their headaches. The poor air quality is causing more headaches.

Julie Markgraf, Chicago


I am 80 years old, pretty healthy. Lately, I have had an allergy, manifesting with nose running and a cough during the mornings. It started about two years ago.

—Clara Arbiser, Senior Options Solutions (SOS)


The idea that carbon dioxide, the element that plants need to survive and in turn converts to oxygen so mammals can survive, is somehow damaging Earth is just a little bit hard to believe.  That man has the ability to figure out all of the intricate ways different elements and forces of nature work in harmony with each other is beyond belief. Also, the predictions of disastrous results of humans being on this plant for the past seventy to eighty years and none of them have come true rings hollow for these latest predictions of disastrous results.

Carl Loew via email

Originally published in the Fall/Winter 2023 print issue.