Breathing Contraptions

Air quality in Hong Kong sucks. Not as bad as Beijing, but it sucks nonetheless. As a lifelong wheezy asthmatic mess, it's particularly hard on my overall well-being. My health history is basically a list of upper respiratory tract infections, walking pneumonia, asthma attacks, bronchitis, hives, sinus infections, allergic reactions and real pneumonia. Good fun! I'm also highly allergic to pollen, mold, dust, dyes, perfumes, mildew, trees, grass, and cute fluffy animals, which is normally manageable with daily anti-histamines and occasional injections of steroids to the ass when I have an allergy attack.

I identified with Chuckie Finster as a kid-
We both lack a sense of smell

I've been going through a hard time this last month as I had what I thought was a cold that basically shut my body down, sent me to the hospital, and made me miss a week of work. I couldn't get better! I scrubbed every inch of my apartment and kept finding little bits of mold growing on book covers, spice bottles, shoes, jewelry, clothing, and furniture. The combination of Hong Kong humidity and filthy air was too strong a foe for my feeble attempts. No matter how much I sterilized surfaces, mold kept popping up. I knew what I had to do.

Look at my sad face during my recent lungpocalypse

Even though I dropped a shit ton of money on an air purifier earlier this year and strategically hid dehumidifying pots all over my apartment, it clearly wasn't enough. I went ahead and bought a dehumidifier as well. Lo and behold, the mold stopped. I can now sleep through the night without waking up in coughing or sneezing fits. My apartment has become a little sterile bubble. The downside?

THIS MEANS I HAVE NOW SPENT OVER 1,300 US DOLLARS ON BREATHING CONTRAPTIONS. (Not to mention all the hospital and pharmacy bills I now have).

What in the name of fuck. To breathe like a normal human being, I had to drop an obscene amount of money. Hong Kong needs to get its shit together.

My air quality control officers

These machines are bulky (which is not good for a small HK apartment), loud, and annoying. I have to dump out the water tray in the dehumidifier at least once a day and who knows what sort of effect it is going to have on my electric bill. Aren't more appliances actually contributing to the pollution problem? Oh, the irony.

This is a photo I took of the harbour on my way home-
at 4 in the afternoon, fully light out

Over 3,000 people in Hong Kong die every year from pollution related illnesses. It's a vile environmental hazard. The University of Hong Kong created this cool interactive website tracking daily drawbacks from the terrible air quality. The number of people visiting the doctor every minute is especially telling. The economic and health implications of the air quality is real, and I am a living example of that.

Victoria Harbour on a good and bad day

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