Amazing Rare Move by my Chinese Kindergarten during an Airpocalypse (Plus: where to buy an air filter!)

I know Thanksgiving is over, but I can’t help but feel extremely thankful and blessed. Hang with me as I explain.

Yesterday, AQI levels in Beijing were crazy! A hilarious app yesterday described the day in a “Hide yo’ kids!” category and later, when the air was worse, an “Airpocalypse.”

beijing aqi 571 to 581

(Credit for the screenshots goes to one of Beijing’s favorites, George Hu. I’m not sure what app he’s using.)

 

 

Today is starting to be such a day in Yizhaung with the AQI measuring 516 at 6:00 am and increasing to 528 at 8:00 am.

Beijing Yizhuang air December 1 2015

Yesterday I also found out that Ki’s Kindergarten has not been using the two units of Cannon Smart Air Filters we sent to his classroom earlier this year. Bobby and I purchased one and another parent purchased the other. So, Ki was in that horrible air yesterday without a single layer of protection. I’m… Angry. Mort
ified. Frustrated.

I’m not exactly sure about the reason but they said they would receive high tables on December 7th on which to place the air filters. I’m assuming they decided the hassle of getting children not to touch the filters outweighed protecting their lungs.

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(We also bought the carbon filter to accompany this bad boy to Ki’s Kindergarten!)

Today Bobby will be going to talk with that Kindergarten’s director about the seriousness of the air and show them on a PM counting device that the air indoors is no better without an air filter. Sometimes it’s worse.

On the flip side, today I’m staying home with Rizpah and Ki. Why? Our Kindergarten courageously announced that parents should choose whether to send children to the Kindergarten today in this air. If they needed the care, they wouldn’t turn children away.

(This is a view from window on a beautiful day, you can see the primary school in the distance. Second picture is the view from today. The UFO orb is my ceiling light reflection in the glass. I wasn’t willing to open the window for a better shot. I’m assuming you’ll forgive  me.)

bluer skiesview from window

I think for children who have no air filters at home, going to our Kindergarten is a great place on such bad days. The administration has been increasingly aware of the poor air and Chinese and foreign parents’ concerns about adverse affects on health. All the staff (even ayis) has started to close windows and turn on air filters. The Kindergarten even went as far to purchase commercial sized air filters for every area.

On the other hand, I would say that the best place to keep children on such days is at home with good air filters. That’s why I’m so proud of their decision to let parents pick to stay home or not. Our Kindergarten is trying, but we can’t control all the little air leaks into our 10-year-old building. People are constantly walking in and out of the building. The PM haze is still visible inside. Of course I think the air filters are doing something, and the PM inside isn’t visible on days when it’s around 300.

And by far, they are doing significantly more than the schools that aren’t even trying to change. (Cough, phlegm, cough – Ki’s Kindergarten!)

 

On a sweet little extra note, the GA’s of our primary/middle school are loaning out air filters to teachers who don’t have any at home. Teachers can borrow them for two weeks, (enough time to purchase their own or wait out the air apocalypse). I’m just curious, is there another Chinese-run private school that’s THIS proactive about air?  I am super proud of Beijing SMIC Kindergarten and Primary School right now.  This is one of the most responsible moves concerning air I have seen them make.

And honestly, if the BDA and Beijing city government didn’t give all schools the authority to cancel classes on these types of days, our school couldn’t even do this in the first place.  Beijing government gets a bad reputation all of the time, but this is one sign of many that they’re trying to curb and to deal with pollution.

If you do need an air filter, I highly recommend Smart Air Filters. I have been nothing but pleased with them!  We keep the big cannons in our bedrooms and large living areas.

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