Out of the smog… December in Beijing

First of all: I am doing very well! No need to worry.

I took the attached photos beginning of December in the first intense smog that Beijing has made us live now recently. Probably most of you have heard or seen images on TV, or read about it.

It was nasty. I must admit, it was somehow frightening. Even when wearing your mask, you ask yourself what is it that you breath into your body? And, when your air purifier at home cannot handle the job anymore, because it is not strong enough to clean the air… what can you do, really?

So, there you go, attached are my photos: the blue sky ones were taken on December 2nd. The grey ones are taken on the same spot, on my way to work in the morning – but one day before, on December 1st.

We had 2 days in a row like this. AQI over 600. Some people said that the real number went over 800, but that it was not shown on the Apps. Real nasty. And last week another couple of days highly polluted. But I was lucky enough to miss these. Got back now today, and into nice and clean air (AQI 28).

At work, the company management had decided twice to give our staff the choice to stay home: on that first Tuesday, and another time when the government declared ‘red alert’ last week. The kind of ‘funny’ part is that during this ‘red alert’, the AQI was ‘only’ around 250. Compared to over 600 the week before, without any government alert. Some Chinese told me that the government was simply not prepared this first time.

Though even with the choice to stay home, most of the colleagues were in the office, including myself. But, in the end: why stay home where you breath the bad air all day, coming through the closed windows into your rooms? Most of my Chinese colleagues do not have air purifiers at home. A lot of them do not even wear a mask. So basically, you (me included) are better off coming to the office where we have 3 big air purifiers running.

The kind of beautiful moment was that Mr.W then invited all of us for lunch in a restaurant in our office building, and with a little speech he said ‘thank you’ to all his team for being so devoted to their work at his company. If I want to find something positive in this, I would say that the pollution created the first team-bulding moment in my new company. 😉

I am curious how this will continue… people talk about getting sick, lung problems, cancer etc…. its scary! I definitely need to buy another air purifier for my home… a stronger and bigger one should do the job next time!

Hope you are all doing well, wherever you are…Keep clean!

…more soon!


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