You may have seen horror pictures of the sky over Beijing the past two days? The air quality was almost 900! The highest it's ever been since we moved to Beijing 18 months ago!! If you don't live in China (or India) I don't expect you to know the index by heart so here is a reminder :-)
So yes! We were beyond the index, Beyond hazardous.
We woke up Thursday morning to WeChat messages from some of the class chats at the kids' school! There was confusion about whether the school was closed or not. BUT the rules are quite clear: the school will only close if there are 3 days in a row of 250 or above. We are very lucky that the Western Academy of Beijing has a state-of-the-art air purifying system and even on a day like Thursday with extreme levels of pollution, the air quality at school was 1!!
What caused this airpocalypse?
The horrible air quality was caused by a combination of "normal" pollution and a sandstorm from the Gobi dessert! For this reason, most readings were shown in PM10! A tiny inhalable particle - different from the PM 2.5 particles (the bad guys we normally refer to when talking about air pollution) but still very damaging to our health!
So did it affect our daily life?
That's it. We are used to polluted days. Life goes on.