I left the office at 6:30 today and there was a smell of smoke in the air. The end of the road looked further away than usual, slightly grey. I looked at the air quality app on my phone. 150.
It’s 99 in Beijing right now. That’s moderate. 150 is at the point when “Active children and adults, and people with respiratory disease, such as asthma, should avoid prolonged outdoor exertion; everyone else, especially children, should limit prolonged outdoor exertion”. I got home. The windows and doors were all shut, my wife had the air purifier running, and the kids were going mental. My eyes were already sore from the walk home and my head hurt; this was not a good way to reach the middle of the week.
This really sucks. I’ve lost all the pollution masks that we had from last summer, and it’s not even the end of March yet. I don’t really want to be in a situation where La Serpiente and Destroyer are coughing all year because the wind is blowing the wrong way and the whole of Indonesia is on fire. Then again, at least I can go somewhere else if necessary – the poor sods that must be at the epicentre of the fires can hardly relocate.
Tomorrow, I take La Serpiente back to school. I’m kind of hoping the air has cleared by then, but this could mean a period where I’m taking her back and forwards in a taxi. Oh, air quality, I hardly knew you…