It’s been making international headlines from what I can see, but in case you haven’t heard, earlier this weekend, Shanghai experienced some of its most record-breaking smog-filled pollution days. On the pollution scale index that goes from 0-500, it hit over 500. And in case you’re wondering, anything over ~400 is considered “hazardous: everyone will feel side affects”. GROSS.
I really wanted to stay inside all day to avoid getting sick (I got a horrible headache from going to and from class alone….a two minute commute, mind you), but I had an obligation to teach my little kiddies English since it was Friday, so I bought myself a mask and braved the pollution.
In one word? Gross.
But also super smelly and just baffling. Anything that had any kind of fumes or smells could be smelled from blocks away, including cigarette smoke and/or construction fumes. It was overwhelming. I was so glad to have the mask! And what was perhaps even more overwhelming was seeing everyone going about their day like it was normal — not everyone was wearing masks as I had expected, and people were STILL just casually smoking and driving their cars as if it was a completely normal day and there was no pollution (my thought: shouldn’t this all be BANNED if the smog is this thick?!).
So yeah, it was gross and smelly. Here are a few pictures to prove it.
I really thought that by coming to Shanghai, I would luck out and not have to deal with high levels of pollution. Well, I was wrong! Thankfully, it’s gone back down to mostly “normal” levels by now… and by normal I mean only in the 200-range (my roommate mentioned that Boston was around 30 if that’s any comparison). Hopefully it continues to shape up… I’ll cross my fingers.