To maintain my health and improve my body weight, I like to take jogs around town. Today I did a 7km jog and after 5km had a strange experience earlier this afternoon. During my jog, I found myself suddenly hard to breathe in torrential rainfall. I don’t normally run in the rain, but this downpour developed very quickly. The humidity suddenly ramped up. The rain was coming down so hard, I couldn’t see nor breathe! The image of a brown, paper bag (like those on airplanes) flashed across my mind. I had to turn my back to the rain & wind while bending over and covering my mouth & nose with both hands. It almost felt like I was hyperventilating. Like the air pressure inside my lungs was higher than the air outside. I knelt down to gain control over my body’s growing panic. I tried to open my eyes to see, but the rain made it difficult to keep my eyes open. After facing my head down toward the ground and clearing the water from my eyes, I could see.

After about 20 seconds, I could breathe again. I tried to turn around and keep walking, but found it very hard to breathe. So, I walked backwards while covering my mouth and nose. Crossing the flooded street with water above my ankles, I was able to shelter myself at the 7-11 until the rain finally lightened up. Unfortunately, I was already waterlogged from the heavy rain. But I was able to breathe normally again. I was able to jog back home, but the uncomfortable memory of that event left me wondering if I have any other health issues that need to be addressed.

Running out of breath while choking on the rain is a scary feeling that can be fatal unless you can calm yourself down. My quick thinking probably helped me avoid the hospital today. By covering my mouth, I was able to create a small air pocket to equalize the pressure and oxygen to CO2 ratio. In retrospect, I imagine the sudden rise in humidity along with a drop in atmospheric pressure is probably the blame.

While this may be my first experience of sudden humidity rise to 100%, it’s well known by medical professionals and scientist that Humans have a hard time breathing in 100% humidity. Weather events like this are expected to become more frequent as we continue to ignore the ongoing Global Warming crisis. I fear we may lose more people with weak lungs or compromised health long before we gain full comprehension on how climate will affect us all.