Fireworks And Being A Karen

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The loud explosions caused by fireworks negatively effect many pets, veterans with PTSD and people on the autism spectrum
(Photo by Howard Le/ CC BY 2.0)

This morning, I was called a “Karen” on one of Facebook’s group pages to which I belong. While I am aware of what this moniker signifies, as the Ting Tings song goes, “That’s Not My Name.” Sadly, rudeness has become all too commonplace on social media platforms.
The reason I was called a “Karen” is honestly kind of ridiculous. I had complained about the fireworks that have been set off in our area every single night for over a year. Most of the time, the fireworks are limited to just after dark, when a few bottle rockets or smaller explosives shatter the peaceful night air. Other times, the explosions are much louder and occur in the middle of the day. Finally, there are times when the fireworks are set off after midnight, which is downright inconsiderate.

Everyone is hopefully aware that fireworks are illegal and should only be handled by professionals. For years, there have been reports of people who have either blown off a hand or a finger because of improper care when lighting these explosives. Most of the time, the injuries occur around Independence Day, when it has become socially acceptable for fireworks to be set off. Usually, the holiday encompasses the weekend prior to or just after Independence Day. These are times for which most folks prepare themselves and their pets. However, when fireworks are set off all year, it not only becomes annoying and inconsiderate, but it also is unfair to wildlife, pets, veterans and children with special needs who are affected by loud stimuli.

Those who stated that “Karens should mind their own business and just enjoy the celebration” have their heads in the sand. Those loud noises frighten our neighborhood wildlife, who duck for cover and sometimes just drop dead from the sheer panic that they experience. Contact any veterinarian’s office during the summertime and they will tell you that they see a record number of pet parents who call for sedatives to keep their pets calm. Sometimes these medications work. Sometimes they do not. Sometimes pets run away and are never found again.

I enjoy watching firework displays, but I do not enjoy what it does to our Luna. She cowers in fear at the first “pop” and pants and shakes uncontrollably. We have given her Xanax, CBD and Bach’s Rescue Remedy to keep her calm. However, we should not be expected to medicate our pet every single night because there are those who defy the law and apparently do not care about the effect that those firework blasts may cause. I’m not complaining. I’m downright angry.

When my daughter worked for a camp for children with autism, she explained that children with special needs and especially sensory issues can get overstimulated by loud noises. She further explained that parents also experienced a great deal of stress while they watched their children cower in fear and suffer from stress. She said that while she enjoyed a firework display for the 4th, she didn’t understand the necessity of setting off fireworks on a regular basis.

Yesterday, we had our daughter over for a pool date. She brought her boyfriend’s large boxer/pitbull mix, who is normally sweet, friendly and rambunctious. Someone around the corner set off a blockbuster in the middle of the afternoon. That poor dog panted, shook, cowered under the table and whined until my daughter packed him into her car and left. I would personally like to thank the inconsiderate person who abbreviated my daughter’s visit because they wanted to “have a little fun.”

We must honestly consider what “a little fun” can mean to someone else. We have clearly lost our way as a species and it makes me sad that there are those who do as they please with little regard to how it might affect someone else. It is not necessary to set off fireworks every single night. There are people who fought for your freedom that experience PTSD out there. Setting off fireworks causes them to relive the horrors of battle.
For those who called me a “Karen” for complaining about fireworks, please note the previously mentioned reasons why I do not appreciate the sound every night like clockwork. I am also a retired emergency room nurse and I have seen enough fingers blown off to last me a lifetime. Please, folks: If you are going to set off fireworks this holiday season, please do so with consideration and care. Please use safety and consider those around you who might be overstimulated or terrified out of their minds. After the holiday is over, please refrain from setting off explosives, especially after 10 p.m. Your neighbors appreciate it and so do their pets.

I wish you all a happy and safe Independence Day.

Patty Servidio is an Anton Media Group columnist.

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