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Issue 4.2

Breathing is Spatial

As a child, I had a bad case of asthma. Breathing, or rather the inability to breathe, was ever present in my childhood. My activities, and the radius that I was allowed to travel from my home, were all predicated on the tethering distance required to grab an inhaler or run home. Asthma attacks had a way of making visible that invisible act of breathing. To see air as an asthmatic does is to see dust mites, cat dander, spring pollen, pine needles, sweet grass, mold spores, chemical disinfectant, exhaust fumes, second-hand smoke, smog, carbon emissions or, now, the novel coronavirus, filling undetectable aerosols, always ready to infect. Billions of people around the world are awakening to what those with respiratory diseases have always felt: that the air around them is spatial.

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