Recently, a Weibo post has gone viral among netizens, joking that Chinese people could do nothing to protect themselves since the bird flu and smog weather occur at the same time:
“How to prevent from H7N9 (bird flu)?”
Expert: “Keep windows open, let fresh air in.”
“How to prevent from PM2.5 (smog)?”
Expert: “Close all the windows, do not go outside.”
“Wait so should I open the windows or not?!”
Expert:”That depends on how you would prefer to die…”
By retweeting the post, netizens are asking the government to take care of the two serious issues as soon as possible.
Since last month, a heavy brown smog and extremely high level pollutions have been hitting Beijing’s sky. Flights were canceled and people are warned by Chinese government to stay indoors, because of the low visibility and toxic air.
According to The New York Times, on Jan. 12, 2013, the United States Embassy in Beijing claimed that the city’s Air Quality Index hit 755 at 8 p.m., which was far beyond the hazardous level since the top of the scale was supposed to be 500 when using the AQI standards set by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. It is the highest record since the embassy began its monitoring system in 2008.
During these days, not only the “Beijing Cough” has turned to be a hot term, but also Chen Guangbiao, a Chinese entrepreneur and multimillionaire, entered into the public eye. Photos of the thick smog in Beijing can be found everywhere on the web.
I created a story on storify to review what has been happening since January. Please take a look!