Usually when people hear that something is OFF THE CHARTS, it means it is so epic and amazing that it beat any ranking system. Well, this past weekend, when I heard this from a friend, I nearly wanted to gag. The pollution levels in Shanghai were so atrociously high that they were unable to be measured on the system created by the Chinese government. Delicious.
It felt like the Apocalypse the second I walked outside. The worst of it began on Friday. I stepped outside to get my morning coffee. It’s a five minute walk to get to the Starbucks around the corner, and by the time I returned to my room, I had chest pains. Mentally, this kind of freaked me out. By breathing, I had chest pains. I called in sick to work and lay in bed for the rest of the day. Every few hours, I would open up the curtains to look outside and see if the outdoor scenery was any better. Still a blanket of misty white covering the city. I could barely see the buildings across the road. Barely. It was foul.
The international media was going bonkers. Absolutely crazy. Nutty. The Shanghai airports were shutting down. People were tweeting pictures of Chinese nationals and expats alike wearing World War II-esque gas masks on the subway.
I buried myself further under the sheets of my bed with each story I read.
I watched an obscene amount of Netflix. My apologies to my bestie who lent me her Netflix account – I know I have forever ruined your Netflix recommendations list from all of the trash I watched this past weekend. Please don’t hate me forever.
And when I did emerge from the depths of my room, I had to wear a face mask to keep those nasty, demonic particulates from going into my body.
Luckily, today, as if the Gods had answered my prayers finally, I woke up to crisp blue skies. The air was clean and cold. The streets were almost empty in the morning when I got up and headed outside for the breakfast run. It was heavenly. I felt like I had survived the apocalypse or the sequel to “I Am Legend.” Take THAT, Will Smith. I didn’t get eaten by some zombie. HA. I. Am. An. Apocalypse. Survivor.
So I will take some nice deep breaths today. I know its safe because my CN Air Quality App on my phone is not telling me I should wear a mask or that breathing is Hazardous to my health. Oh joyous day!