I’m in so mixed feeling! That’s how I feel about the air pollution situation here in Xian in particular, and in China in general. I remember about a year ago I read the news that the government of China was putting huge amount of budget for air pollution handling. I thought that was national budget so I was thinking like, “Ah finally! They’re actually taking a real action about it. Great.” I thank international pressure on that.
After reading the news, I was hoping that this winter won’t be horrible anymore in Xian. Now winter is surely moving to its peak. What we’ve been seeing in the last 2 weeks is…nothing changed at all. In over a week the AQI level of Xian kept rising steadily from 200 until it reaches over 900 a few times today. It is again horrible!
To some of you (whether or not you experience this yourself) this endless talk about air pollution might seem a bit too much, or even not necessary for whatever reasons. Not sure how much you know about these aqi level, pm 2.5 and pm 10, but as far as I’ve read about them, they can really damage your lung and general health condition. (please read this and this if you haven’t yet).
I can’t remember if I’ve experienced this back home. My country has some air pollution issues as well, but it is usually very temporary; the biggest is usually forest fire smoggy days during summer in Sumatera island (and Kalimantan too?). In big cities we do have bad pollution level which mostly from vehicles. But I don’t remember we have such terrible long lasting smoggy days like here in Xian. We don’t have winter back then, so our burning coal load is totally not as much. That’s only my simple thought.
I don’t know how about you, but after reading all those stuff about air pollution, especially those 2 PMs thing, I’ve been making effort to avoid being outdoor if not necessary/important. Many people out there may not wearing masks for whatever reasons, many of them may laugh and think I’m overdo or paranoid, many of them may not care at all about it, but as far as I’m concern I will keep limiting my outdoor’s activities and keep wearing masks no matter how funny it looks like, or how inconvenient it feels when people staring at you like you’re a snob!
In the end, I can only be responsible for my own self and health. I can only protect myself. I know all of us are going to die. I know we can get sick from anything no matter how much we prevent it. I know most affordable masks – even the one specially made against PM 2.5, can protect you 100 % from the toxic dangerous particulate matter. But one thing I know, when you know that could seriously damage your health and you don’t do anything you can to prevent or reduce the damage level, that is called stupid and suicide.
I don’t wanna get a lot of PM 2.5 stuck in depth of my lung, the lung by what I can breath comfortably to enjoy the living. I don’t want to have fine and killing metal swimming in my blood stream and stop me from enjoying the life normally. I simply don’t wanna get sick because being seriously sick because of those killing things is just not affordable to me.
A local friend, I asked her why doesn’t she wear mask, she simply says, “It’s okay, I don’t think too much about it!”. The answer is a form of ignorant, and sadly enough many people have chosen to stay and live in the ignorant mode. Tired worrying too much about it I just finally see it as the way it is for now… Why should I worry too much if the people I worry about don’t even care about it.
Today, it is Christmas day. I don’t celebrate Christmas but I sincerely wish you all have a good Christmas time with family and friends! Having a beautiful white Christmas would be nice, so embrace and enjoy it.. because they who celebrate Christmas here can’t enjoy it as much, they are having another form of ‘white Christmas’, which is white toxic cloud one. Sad but what the heck..
The AQI level right now in my living area is over 900. My husband fell asleep, I heard our dog was talking in her dream, I’m hearing my upstairs neighbor’s busy doing something on his/her floor – probably cutting veggies or something, I also feeling asleep as typing now… So I will stop here and continue writing maybe later tonight.
Happy holidays to you all!