That's what the pollution index is today.
The only reason it is at 500 and not, say, 501, is that the scale stops at 500.
If this level of pollution were recorded in a city in the U.S., the city would grind to a halt. Schools would shut down. TV news stations would go into overdrive. No one is supposed to leave the house when the pollution is at this level: it's hazardous for everybody. If you were to check right now, you'd find that Bakersfield, CA, and Atlanta, GA, are both suffering from moderate levels of air pollution. That means the reading for those cities is between 50-100. At that level, the air quality is considered acceptable for almost all of the population. And those are among the top 5 worst polluted cities in the U.S. today.
I say again: we're at 500. My throat hurts. My eyes are burning as though I've been in a chlorinated pool all day. I'm dizzy. I'm coughing. I feel sick to my stomach.
What does it look like? Well, as I drove to the Embassy, I couldn't see buildings that I know are right next to the road. High rise buildings. Invisible. The sun, when it broke through the fog, was orange. Thick dirty fog to the horizon - which is only a few yards away on a day like today.
This is the one reason I can't wait to leave this country.