Thoughts on Beijing air

First let me preface this post by saying there are a lot of wondrous and amazing things about living in China, and I’ve had so many great experiences over my last year here. The air quality is not one of those wondrous things. This is a photo taken of the outside this morning:

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According to the twitter feed, the AQI is actually now only in the “very unhealthy” range, which means it has finally dropped from the “hazardous” levels it has been since my arrival back from Japan. Basically, when the aQI is that high, it means the small particles that can imbed themselves in your lungs are at a high enough concentration that the EPA recommendation is for everyone to avoid all outdoor activity. So, I’ve basically been confined to my apartment since I got back! Although there are masks that can filter up to 95% of air pollution, it’s still better to stay inside somewhere with indoor air filters and keep your windows closed, hoping the weather changes again soon! This is what I look like when I go outside wearing my mask:

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Now, there have been sunny, blue sky days here, but I appreciate them even more now that I know how bad it can get. When the AQI is “good” I air out my apartment and do something outside ad soak up whatever sun I can. It’s difficult sometimes to have to change your plans because you look outside and realize it’s a bad air day, but I also know my lungs will appreciate it.

Here’s to hoping the air improves throughout the day and I can go out for a little while! Until then, I’ll sit here with my air purifiers and look at blue sky vacation photos.

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