In case you haven’t noticed, Shanghai’s air has been a bit chunkier, a shade darker, and a few hundred clicks higher on most AQI meters this year. It has, rightly, terrified many city officials, who are now scrambling for ways to ease public discontent.
Zhu Junbo, a representative from the People’s Political Consultative Conference of Shanghai (catchy title, guys) is promoting an effort to deck-out many of the city’s residents with government-supplied masks, as The Telegraph reports:
“The government could purchase the right kind of masks, or select companies to produce qualified masks for distribution,” [Zhu] told state media. […]
It was not immediately clear if the proposals would see authorities give masks to all of the city’s more than 23 million residents. Mr Zhu said children, traffic police and those who worked outdoors should be given priority. The masks would be distributed through the city’s health care system […]
“The public is understandably alarmed by the heavy smog which on bad days seems to engulf the country and, judging by all the evidence, if not handled properly and directly, environmental issues have the potential to not only erode government credibility but also to threaten social stability.”