Quick Side-note: I wanted to publish this airpocalypse post yesterday when the weather was sunny and the sky blue, but sadly another kind of smoke prevented me from doing so. I couldn’t get past the great firewall of China because of my VPN had some issues to resolve.
Take a look at this photo. It was taken in Xizhimen, one of Beijing busiest transportation hubs a couple of days ago, on February 26th 14:30 to be exact:
You see the tiny bright(ish) spot in the sky above the tree and a bit to the right? That is the sun, on a rare moment you could actually tell where it was. After 10 days of virtually no wind, and with the city in full motion after the Chinese New Year, I think it’s safe to say it was the peak of the airpocalypse. Every pollution app out there just gave up on giving actual numbers and just said “beyond index”:
Looks pretty hopeless, no? Fear not! Life is full of surprises. Here’s a photo taken at the exact same spot 24 rainy and windy hours later:
In this photo you also can’t see the sun but for a much better reason – it’s too bright.
Low visibility photos are cute but if you really want to comprehend how bad it is, just take a look at my anti-pollution filter the day after the airpocalypse:
The clean areas are where the valve presses against the filter (the circular hole in middle) and those far from the breathing process (top left). The dark area is where I do most of the inhaling (i.e where my mouth is). To be fair, I used this filter a couple of months before the airpocalypse descended upon us, but as most of the days were not so bad I barely wore my mask. Most of the damage you see was done in the last couple of weeks. Needless to say, I changed filter yesterday.
In case you were wondering, the mask I use is Respro Sportsta which might not be the most subtle one or the most efficient one, but if you cycle anywhere you go and wear glasses, it’s one of the best choices out there. If you want to learn more about the pollution and which mask to get, a good place to start is this post on My Healthy Beijing.
By the way, I published this post under the relatively new category ‘Inedible Post’. This category is dedicated to post which are not about food though some argue that Chinese air is now chewable:
This segment is just a little over one year old. I guess this officially makes the airpocalypse an annual calamity.