This particularly nasty stretch of disgustingly polluted weather does not bode well for the long winter ahead. It’s been so bad that readings were once again off the charts yesterday and many Weibo users have even been wondering if the US Embassy’s Air Quality Index monitor had been discontinued due to political wrangling after it inexplicably went offline yesterday and earlier today.
Whether or not this was indeed the case is debatable (at the time of writing the feed was back up and read "338 – Dangerous"), and perhaps the only advice that can be heeded on a day like today is to stay indoors with your air purifier (you do have one, don’t you?) set on full blast. Otherwise, it’s facemasks, sore throats and sinus infections for the rest of us.
In the meantime Dr Richard, who was recently (and somewhat dubiously) taken to task by an editorial in The Global Times for his efforts to educate the public on the dangers of air pollution, has posted a list of informative links to articles on air pollution on his blog, along with this statement:
As I have said multiple times, I think air pollution is a serious public health issue all over China which is obvious to all — and yet precious little actual intervention, treatments or warnings are provided to our community, at least officially. I personally think that we doctors, especially family medicine and pediatrics, have a moral and professional responsibility to do more to help our Beijing population with this issue.
You may not be able to breathe easier after reading his post, but you’ve got to hand it to Dr Richard for having the gumption to openly address what has been so painfully obvious for us Beijing residents for far too long.