China’s pollution problem is so bad this week that the world is running out of descriptors: if the air was apocalyptic and dystopian earlier, it is an absolute horror movie now.
The situation is so bad that the government issued an unprecedented “red alert” earlier this week in Beijing and state-backed newspapers are reporting on the situation regularly, aggressively and even outside China.
People’s Daily newspaper tweeted this short, terrifying video of China’s “dancing aunties,” women who do team dance to music in public parks, nearly enveloped by the smog:
In northern China’s Tianjin Harbor, the main port to Beijing, it was hard to see beyond the piers on Dec. 9:
While in Taigu county in Shanxi province west of Beijing, the pollution was so thick that middle school’s athletic field was barely visible from a few stories above:
Here’s the field on a clearer day.
Buildings in Xinzhou, also in Shanxi, were almost invisible from across the street:
While in Beijing itself, a flag-raising ceremony in Tiananmen Square was so occluded the flag was practically invisible:
Reporting by May Shi.