17 March – Here are the updated AQI spectrums of the mountain view from our apartment window. When I was taking a photo of “62” earlier, I realized actually how insane this whole thing is – I wonder what the neighbors across the way think; probably that I take a random photo of them each morning. How bizarre. As you see from the “62” image, Tuesday is supposed to be a real *winner* for AQI, so I’ll keep taking the photos as the pollution level changes. Like a crazy person.
One interesting thing that happens here in spring with the AQI. Notice that there are two AQI 50 photos above – one you can see the mountain and the other you can’t. That is due to the fog of spring. If you judge the pollution simply from the mountain view, you may think that it’s bad (this works opposite as well – the 120 photo above looks quite clear). Only with the data can you understand the true situation for each morning.
Overall, the pollution in China is down this year due to limited production and factories not restarting after Chinese New Year. A 51 AQI on March 11th seems quite low. This time last year, I was training for Ironman 70.3 Liuzhou, and I recall carefully looking at the AQI, morning and night, to make sure I was able to get my training in. My ONLY regret while living here in China is that I have not taken careful data regarding the daily AQI values I look at. Is 51 today less than the AQI a year ago? I think so, but I don’t know because I didn’t record the … data each morning and night.
20 March – Things look pretty normal outside here. This past weekend, we walked along the beach on Saturday morning. People were out in DROVES. Playing in the sand in full-on winter clothes. Setting up their tents on the beach – very Chinese, very bizarre, it still blows our minds that tents here are used to shade from the sun on the beach. Everyone was wearing a mask, but no other precautions were taken (no distancing).
Above: Walking by the Qingdao May 4 statue, photo booth fun
On Sunday 22 March, we had a friend gathering hosted by the lovely Paul and Tina. Tina made some unreal dishes – lamb, vegetable curry, and chocolate tart.
27 March – Again this week, things are getting back to normal. We went out biking a couple of times in the morning – hitting rush hour around 7am when we came back. Grant is making some amazing dishes for us at home; including some vegetarian meals. Below: eggplant parmesan, making black bean burgers, chicken ramen, bean and pork quesadillas, black bean burgers
My mom asked me to remind her when “all this” began in China – On January 23, the city of Wuhan was locked down. Two months later here in Qingdao, things are back to normal. If you are reading this from abroad, please keep in mind that 2 months time takes into consideration everyone following the recommendations and the lockdown procedures. It’s also in a city that wasn’t hit “hard” by the virus – few initial people infected and most quickly treated. If people in the US are out-and-about routinely and not following the guidelines regarding social distancing and self-quarantining, then 2 months is just the minimum amount of time to return to normalcy.
Above – going out and buying some groceries (and flowers), Skype with Sarah and Camry in VT (quarantine in the 802)