Meg Keene was just starting to get her children back into a routine, a new normal amid the anxiety and disruption of the coronavirus pandemic, when “the day everything turned orange” hit Northern California.
Keene, founder of Practical Media Inc., has found that months of fires have exacerbated her 7-year-old son’s issues with depression, anxiety and ADHD, she told NBC News. The family did what they could to help him and Keene’s younger daughter find relief in an already high-stress pandemic until the fires’ relentless attack on the West Coast brought new triggers.
“We would really try to do anything that would give them other places to go or other things to do or any of that, all that got destroyed as well,” Keene said. “So they couldn’t even go outside, they couldn’t even go to the tree house. They had to be inside, with the doors locked and purifiers on, so that started really making things worse.”