Oak Pollen

Brown pollen collects in large portions besides the sidewalk. Photo by Flora He
Brown pollen collects in large portions besides the sidewalk. Photo by Flora He

Spring is a time that everyone looks forward to. The refreshing aroma after the May showers, the breathtaking sight of beautiful flowers as they take over fields, the crystal skies with the occasional cloud floating through. Everything about spring lifts my spirits in many different ways. There’s just one horrendous problem: oak pollen. Murky dust swamps over the air making it unable to breathe while yellow powder coats the tops of cars. The people affected by pollen are terrified of even stepping foot outside or the pollen will surround them and trigger an outburst of allergies.

Being a victim of the hazardous pollen, I too suffer from the symptoms every time this year. I know the horrible feeling. Although it happens every spring, this year I felt something different. My itchy throat turned into a hack at the lungs and even some people that usually don’t experience the symptoms felt the attack of the pollen. Rates are climbing high and the normal response to the yellow dust is worsening. According to pollen level charts, the amount of pollen covering the ground has broken record.

Several students from Canyon Vista also agree with me. Some students that usually enjoy the outdoors during this time of the year thought the powder was too much. Vincent Zhu, 6th grade noted, “My sister went out of town for a week, and by the time she got back, her car was completely yellow dust. The pollen swallowed up her car and she couldn’t get near it without breaking into a cough.” Samantha Cauvin, a 7th grader, said, “Our pool was totally green. We spent four days working on it and getting the pollen out, but it’s still green.”

Every year, oak pollen hits the city of Austin like a tropical storm, but this year it felt like a tsunami. Even with over-the-counter medications, the features of the symptoms still surface. All we can do is hope that next year, we won’t suffocate every time we walk outside.