BEIJING -- The local media have given it a name: "Beijing Ke," or the Beijing Cough, defined by the China Daily as "a bout of persistent dry cough or throat tickle because of Beijing's poor air quality."
Earlier this year, the local air-quality reading was so bad that citizens were warned to stay in doors for days on end. The international media called it the "Airpocolypse."
For Beijing's 20 million residents, pollution has become a way of life. Even on the relatively good air-quality days, such as the ones that cold winds have brought here this week, locals take precautions.