BEDFORD-STUYVESANT, Brooklyn — A variety of healthcare experts said that on intensely hot days, it’s best to stay indoors — preferably with air conditioning or a fan nearby — as much as possible However, some people had no choice but to be outside during Wednesday’s scorching temperatures. What they do to keep cool all day can be instructive to the rest of us, for the rare times we have to venture out from the air conditioning while the mercury is at its highest.
As one passing motorist told PIX11 News, “It’s blazing out there!”
The digital display sign at the gas station she’d just passed when she’d made her exclamation recorded a heat index temperature of 102 degrees. The conditions were brutal, but people like Leandro Logamo, who makes food deliveries all day from his refrigerated truck, said that he had no choice but to be out in the elements.
He said that coping with the heat is possible by doing one thing.
“I drink too much water,” he said, after delivering cold goods to a local bodega.
Sebastian Carrión, an Amazon delivery person, agreed.
“Stay hydrated,” he said. “That’s the key.”
Dr. Matthew Bai, the associate medical director of the Mt. Sinai Queens Emergency Department, also agreed. He said that scorching conditions can put people’s bodies in danger, if they don’t take precautions.
“Your cells in your body have evolved to work at its peak capabilities at a certain temperature range,” Dr. Bai said.
“That’s like 96, 97, 98, 99, maybe even close to 100 degrees Fahrenheit,” he continued, referencing the normal range of body temperature that registers when people take their own temperatures.
Heat waves like the one our region is in now can affect body temperature, with potentially hazardous effects.
“If you get much beyond [the normal body temperature range],” Dr. Bai said, “certain systems start to fail.”
Preventing that is vital, he said.
One form of prevention was on the east side of Bedford Avenue, just north of Atlantic Avenue.
That’s where Julio Cabraja operates a fruit stand, next to his refrigerated box truck. On days when the temperature soars, Cabraja’s stand gets busy.
On Wednesday, business was non-stop, mostly from sales of coconuts. Right there, on site, immediately every sale, Cabraja chops off the top the coconut with a machete, and serves up coconut water, with a straw, right out of the shell.
A look at his roadside business shows many ways in which a person should keep from overheating. His stand was covered in large, cloth umbrellas, providing widespread shade.
“Umbrella is the world,” he said. “It works for the heat.”
Also, Cabraja consumes what he sells.
“That’s the best for this weather,” he said. “Eat fruit, eat vegetable[s]. Stay cool.”
Dr. Bai, the emergency department director, agreed.
“That’s perfect!” he told PIX11 News. “Fruit is cool, it’ll cool you down, and it’s full of hydration.”