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The impacts of poor air quality on a night in Old Town Alexandria

By Max Marcilla,


ALEXANDRIA, Va. (DC News Now) — As part of DC News Now’s continuing coverage of the poor air quality the DMV is experiencing , which includes Chief Meteorologist Janessa Webb’s forecast , we explored the impacts it had on a night in Alexandria.

What would be a busy summer-like night of dining out and enjoying Old Town had a bit of a different feel.

Though many people continued eating outdoors, some said it was a little less crowded than they think it would have been had the smoke not clouded the nice weather.

Air Quality Index: What it is, the levels and how you can check it

One waiter indicated outdoor dining was more impacted during brunch hours as opposed to the evening, while many patrons brought back their N95 masks.

“We walked today to our car dealership and we wore our masks,” said Grant Slayden, who lives in the city. “Sort of COVID trauma,” he said with a smile. “Brought back that PTSD from COVID, having to wear that mask again. Haven’t done that in a while.”

Other businesses faced an impact beyond restaurants.

Alexandria resident Luke Mahoney said he went golfing Thursday morning.

“A ton of people dropped off the tee sheet today, which is very rare for a day — what is it, 80, 85 degrees? Normally people would be out constantly, and they weren’t,” he said.

Mahoney added he even lost track of a ball he hit because of the haze.

Some outdoor activities in the city were canceled, while other events were moved indoors due to the air quality.

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