As I read the weather reports about the immense snowstorm approaching Boston and New England, I have developed the sick feeling that one gets watching a movie or news story in which an inevitable tragedy will occur, and the viewer is unable to stop it. The tragedy that I envision is completely avoidable, yet still likely to occur.
I’m not thinking of the deaths from snow-covered trees falling on houses, or from cars sliding on ice-slicked roads. These may occur, but they involve some elements beyond human control. No, my worry is that well-intentioned, even careful, families throughout the region will crank up portable generators after losing power and will succumb to carbon monoxide poisoning without realizing the risks associated with these machines.