By Gabriella Scerbo
Fireworks: Usually an item associated with July 4th or any sort of celebration. Every year around the major cities hundreds of people gather to watch fireworks, and are in awe of their multicolors, and unique pulsating sounds. Another thing that many love about fireworks, is the excuse to sip a cold beer (maybe a little too much) but overall spend quality time with family. This time of celebration and positive correlation seems to be out the window when discussing fireworks in the political climate of 2020.
Fireworks are illegal in many states without a permit, and police departments across the country are cracking down on the abundant use. Law enforcement is once again restating the ordinances regarding these fireworks. In Illinois, the Police Department posted a Facebook update, once again reminding residents of the policy. In June, New York City firework complaints have more than tripled within the past year. This influx in fireworks is due to the fact that large gatherings are cancelled, such as concerts, sporting events and many other celebrations due to the spread of COVID-19.
Another theory regarding the influx of fireworks, are the protests following the death of George Floyd. In New York City and major cities around the country, thousands protest police brutality and years of systemic racism, and racial injustice faced by the Black Community. The Black Lives Matter movement have also been involved in directly using fireworks in addition to peaceful protests, and a larger national conversation about the system injustices.
Pasadena, California has seen a 400% increase of fireworks related complaints. Around 40% (2 in 5) of Americans plan on buying their own fireworks this year, due to the cancellations of many celebrations due to COVID-19. In the Big Apple, Firework complaints have rose to 13,109 compared to just 32 last year.
Not only are these fireworks having a large affect on humans, they also affect everyone’s favorite member of their families: pets.
Although the fireworks seem to glisten in the sky, used for either boredom or to reiterate an important movement, they can also cause serious physical injuries. These effects include loss of fingers, hands, and even tissue damage on the face. Fireworks should be left to people that know how to properly use them.
Not only are the fireworks causing physical injuries to many, they are also causing light pollution and air pollution, which has a direct negative effect on the environment. These fireworks put harmful chemicals and smoke in the air, these chemicals have negative implications such as coughing, shortness of breath, and even heart attacks.
The loud noises are causing concern to frontline workers during the pandemic, looking to get a good night’s rest from another stressful day in the hospital. As well as officer workers, eager to get back to some sense of normalcy during Phase 2 of reopening following COVID-19.
Not only are these fireworks having a large negative on humans, they also affect everyone’s favorite member of their families: pets. Similar to humans, the loud noise is not the most pleasing one, and can cause mental problems. Dogs specifically, when hearing these noises tend to self mutilate, due to anxiety. Smaller dogs, such as border collies, Australian Shepherds and chihuahua’s can be especially sensitive.
Unfortunately, the amount of pets that are entered in the shelters post July 4th are around 80% higher than normal. Imagine the potential increase in shelters with the fireworks in 2020.
These astronomical numbers will be steadily increasing if this firework predicament is not properly taken care of. Many amazing pets lives will be destroyed, as well as there loving families.
In the grand schemes of things, fireworks are a very small issue in the sea of large issues. However, right now they have been brought into the spotlight as yet another concern for the safety of major cities around the country.