By Kiet Do

SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — It’s never a good day when you can actually see the air you’re breathing.

Skies above the Bay Area were various shades of gray and orange Tuesday, a combination of smoke from all the fires and the overcast. The hot, muggy grayish-orange has become the official color of 2020.

“It’s a very strange day,” said Walnut Creek resident Lynn Sanchez. “It’s hot it’s humid, we’re ready for fall. We’d like to see some sunshine, we’d like to see the sky, and that’s just not been possible.”

As we headed into week 4 of crappy air, it was time to check on the brand new air filter I installed in our HVAC system on August 19 when the fires started. Three weeks later, the bright white filter had turned a dingy gray.

Much of the particulates in the air were high up in the atmosphere Tuesday, at least in the early morning hours. Before lunch, San Jose had a decent AQI of 59. But by 2 p.m. it had jumped to 152.

At Communication Hill in San Jose Tuesday, we found people exercising outdoors, despite the bad air. Residents Stacy Ramsey and Gabriel Fernandez said they just had to find a way to get outside.

“Especially after, like, been in quarantine this whole time,” said Ramsey. “Being in a house the whole time is depressing.”

For resident Timothy Gutierrez, who has asthma, these days are difficult because he doesn’t have air conditioning at home, so he literally has to suck it up.

“When it gets too hot, I just open the windows,” said Gutierrez. “About a week and a half ago, when it was really bad, I just had to tough it out.”

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