Shanghai SARS: Situation Severe

The atmosphere of today in Shanghai is most severe ever in Shanghai. The air seems to suddenly freeze these days.

Disinfection – real disinfection this time

When I talk with the Dazhong taxi 5 days ago, the driver told me his car is not disinfected at all although the Oriental TV is reporting all taxis are disinfected everyday. I recorded this under the Taxi driver section of the blog of that day. Today, I talked with another mid-aged taxi driver – he also comes from the Dazhong taxi company and he told me the following information:

My car is disinfected every morning. This actually started from this Monday. The seat covers are washed daily, while they are changed not frequently before – about once every week. We are also required to open the window during driving.

I feel very happy to see the real actions are finally being taken – not only the media report, since the false media reports will only control panic (in very short period of time) but cannot control SARS. I can still smell the vinegar-like disinfectant in the car. The 180 degree change happens on Monday – when the sack of Health Ministor and Beijing major were announced on Sunday.

When I returned to home, I found the elevator are still being disinfected on daily basis – it is good.

Business impacted

The taxi driver also told me that he faced 200 RMB revenue cut for SARS these days. On average, he can earn at least 600 RMB every day before. But now, 400 RMB per day is already a good number.

Taxi may not be the most impacted industry. I have changed to taking taxi everyday to and from work – so does some of my friends. Taxi is obviously safer than bus or metro. So the lose of huge reduce of out door activities can be compensated a little bit by the increase of ratio people taking taxis. But other industries are completely worse.

According to not confirmed information, the Shanghai Auto Show was cut from tomorrow – 3 days ahead of the ending date.

Shanghai: Eight regulations to control SARS

According to news report, Shanghai government has announced eight regulations to control SARS:

  1. All passengers entering Shanghai need to check temperature and fill in the health declaration form. This applies to all entrance including air, train, ship, bus. Hotels needs to do the same for all guests.
  2. Enhance prevention measures for schools and kindergarnders.
  3. All public transportation vehecales and public places must be disinfected everyday. Planes, trains, long distance buses, cargos, metro, buses, taxies and all other kind of publich transportation viacles and stations, ports, dorms in building sites, schools, Internet cafes, bars, Karaoks, theaters, shopping malls, and other public places must be disinfected everyday and stick the disinfection mark with the date of the disinfection. Failure to keep compliant with the requires will be shutdown immediately.
  4. Strictly control large scale activities. No large event with large amount of people gathering is allowed. Any organization should not organize any international or inter-provincial events. Scheduled events should be canncelled or postponed.
  5. Strictly control meeting, tour and investigation to outside Shanghai. No organization should arrange any meeting, tour or investigation to places outside Shanghai. All travel agencies should stop any tour to other provinces. Tourism administrations should advice travel agencies in other provinces to cancel their tour groups’ trip to Shanghai. All people returning Shanghai from SARS affected areas are required to be observed for two weeks and be reported to local disease control organizations. All organizations should persuade people not to tour or travel. Returning people from SARS affected areas need to report to local health orgnizations and stay in home for at least two weeks.
  6. Strengthen the professionalism of first-line workers. All health organization, airport, custom, ports, import and export quarantine, etc staff, public transportation staff, like on plane, train, ship, long distance buses must wear masks at work and take other neccessary precautions.
  7. Announce the situation of epidemic and encourage supervising from the public. Continue to publish the status of the epidemic on all media and hold news conference weekly. All citizens should report any suspected SARS patients and will be granted prize for those whose report is confirmed. All parama staff need to investigate customers for cough or fever medicines and persuade them to go to see a doctor whenever possible.
  8. All activities need to be ochrasted by the local district government first then by the parent organization.

Note: Above is my personal translation. For time being, I didn’t translated it word by word – some sentences are ignored. Due to limitation of my understanding of certain terms and English skills, some words may be translated wrong. This is just for your information. Please wait for the official translation. Please always include this disclaimer if you quote the content.

Very encouraging

Although the regulations let everyone realized the potential threats of the virus and strengthened the nervers atmosphere of the city, I have to say, this is exactly what we were expecting in the last one month. I thank the government to take the actions at last. The panic will also be controlled as long as the people understand the effective measures have been taken.

Latest from News at Ten of Shanghai TV Station

I recorded some piece of the latest information from The News at Ten from Shanghai TV Station. Again, this is the draft of the items for your information only. I cannot garantee the correctness of the recording – about 10% of the content may be misrecorded. They are listed in no particular order.

  • Fine for bad habbits of citizens dramatically increased. Spitting will be fined 200 RMB instead of current 50 RMB. Litter ciggritte remains will be fined 100 RMB instead of 50 RMB. Dropping Gum will be fined for 200 RMB instead of 100 RMB. (my comment: the city is taking SARS as the chance to fight against some bad habits among the citizens)
  • The Shanghai Auto Show is closed early in order to prevent SARS.
  • The CAAC is returning air tickets free of refunding fee during the May labor day holiday. According to CAAC, tickets among April 30 – May 7 tickets can be returned without additional charge if they were bought before midnight last night.
  • Beijing is closing most schools to prevent the spread of SARS.
  • 1 millions students in Beijing were dismissed to home for two weeks and the coming mid-term examinations cancelled.
  • Send SMS Message “NEWS” to 258088 (China Mobile) or to 958008(Unicom) for SARS related English breaking news.
  • All students in one of the school in Shanghai need to check temperature every day – this has become a common practise in Shanghai.
  • All students need to report to the school if their family members goes or returns out of the town – from the same schools.
  • All theaters needs to be disinfected before every movie show.
  • Beauty solon workers are required to wear masks at work
  • All car or bus drivers are required to leave a detailed record about their health condition and the locations they have been. They will also need to take body temperatures at all toll station. Most drivers said they support th e policy. “SARS is a very serious problem and we are all concerned about it.” said one driver.

Conclusion: I got more alerted, but feel safer

The news reports and the actions taken have alerted all the citizens about the seriousness of the virus but I am feeling safer.

52 thoughts on “Shanghai SARS: Situation Severe”

  1. Hi, I received an internship from London Law firm in Shanghai (where I was born). The internship is for the month of July. I was wondering if it would be safe to come then.

    Also, have WHO posted any news about situation in Shanghai, and their visit to the military hospitals.

    I need to book my ticket soon, so any information would be helpful =)

  2. I suggest you delay your internship immediately. The situation is bad, especially if you are going into Shanghai. Let alone the risk, the precautions of all the quarartines and filling the forms will be a big headache for you. Health first.

  3. Excellent site for “non-official” information. I just cancelled my trip to Shanghai due to the concern of SARS. Considering the high numbers in Hong Kong and Beijing, the official tally in Shanghai seems too good to be true. It is hard to believe that Shanghai would be isolated from this epidemic given the size and mobility of the population. I hope I am wrong, because I do want to make the trip as soon as possible.

    Any news on WHO’s assessment of the SARS situation in Shanghai?

    Keep up with the good work.

  4. It was reported yestoday ( 4/23) that 6 WHO experts continued their work in Shanghai.However, there’s no further report or data revealed.

    The original report in chinese:

    http://news.online.sh.cn/news/gb/content/2003-04/23/content_578746.htm

    JianShuo,

    Pls cancel your any trip out of Shanghai if you can.

    Although PMT also cancelled events & gathering, we will move to the net instead. Welcome to join :) ( Let’s keep smiling, no matter how……)

    Take care :)

  5. Hao, nice to know there will be more PMT events – online this time – very interesting. Let me know the details.

    I have canceled my trip via training regarding the current situation – I am trying to return the tickets. So does my wedding ceremony – for sake of the health of all the attendants. I hope this virus will be over soon.

  6. Great reporting!

    Are there any other mainland chinese writing about effects of SARS in English who would like wider distribution of their writing? I would be happy to link to more Chinese weblogs.

    thanks, Tim of SARSWatch.org

  7. hi!!

    thanks again for all the info.

    i am studying chinese at jiaotong uni, and today, all the students (not sure about the chinese students, but all of us foreign students at the language school) got a thermometer and those alcohol cotton buds…

    we are all hearing rumours that there was a student at jiaotong who collapsed and that an ambulance came to pick that person up..(i have no basis on whether this is true..) anyway, our campus is right in the city…

    we also get our student IDs checked (since tuesday of this week) whenever we enter the campus…

    take care y’all,

    annie

  8. i’m glad that shanghai is doing a great job trying to prevent the spread of sars. i’m still waiting for something to happen here in xiamen. xiamen daxue has made some steps in preventing sars but Xiamen itself hasn’t done any public announcements. the taxis and buses are still dirty and the people still not aware of what sars is. i asked one of the vendors yesterday how he felt about sars and he said that he’s shouldn’t worry about sars since it’s only in beijing and in hongkong. i’m not sure what is said on the local t.v. and radio stations but it seems that the locals are not informed at all. the whole world is watching china. at the univerity, only the foreign students were warned about sars. the chinese students still have not been given the necessary information to help prevent sars from spreading.

  9. to annie:

    the student in JiaoTong Univ. you mentioned may be the one in the Management School. He got high fever, but fortunately, not SARS. So far as I know, there’s no SARS in JiaoTong.

  10. dear annie and others,

    the student you mentioned, who was taken to hospital in an ambulance, he’s a friend of mine. it was completely unrelated to SARS.

    just wanted to let you know.

  11. It seems like people are going back and forth on whether tourists should cancel their trips to Shanghai…

    I have a trip planned for next month to go to Shanghai for 10 days. It’s a once in a lifetime trip for my American boyfriend who’s going with me. (I was born in Shanghai and go back every year) He really wants to go despite the current situation. I don’t know how much information is true from the media and would really like to know the real situation in Shanghai…

    What do you think? Is the situation bad enough that I should I cancel my trip?

  12. Although we meet many difficulties, I still believe our government will overcome this havoc. China government has showed the responsibility to his people.

  13. Han, well – the same hard question again – to come to Shanghai or not.

    The first advice anyone can give you (the WHO, the government of US or China, anyone in U.S. or Shanghai) is to cancel your trip. It is obverious that the situation does not look good.

    However, if you and your BF really don’t care, I also think it may not be a bad idea to have a try – you will definitely get the lowest air tickets back to China possible. The city is kept alerted, which is a good sign of safty to some extent. If you have realized the danger, you are actually safer.

  14. In response to Han

    Last year I bought my boyfriend (who although is of Chinese, has never been to China and does not speak chinese). I am born in shanghai but went to Canada when I was six. We had an awesome time, and I hope you will to.

    I am also debating of whether or not to take my internship. At this point, unless Shanghai gets put on WHO’s list, I will most likely still go.

    I was wondering if anyone knows how the stores are handling SARS, are stores still open, restaurants and so forth.

    TO Wang: good website, makes me miss shanghai =)

  15. Tracey wrote:

    “Last year I bought my boyfriend (who although is of Chinese, has never been to China and does not speak chinese).”

    So I assume you bought him in Canada – was he expensive? I’ve been looking around for one of those too. I think I will try a “wet market”, like the Chau Tau market in Guangzhou – I hear you can pick up a lot of interesting things there …

    Just kidding. ;-)

  16. We’re expats currently living on the island of Hainan, but the situation here is getting pretty grim. The government isn’t admitting SARS is here, but everyone is restricted to their own village or town — no traveling about the island. We’re not even permitted to go into Haikou, which is the closest city (1 hour away). Anyone who leaves our village has to be quarantined upon returning. We’re really not even supposed to leave our work unit except for necessary stuff. And we’re not supposed to have ANY personal contact with mainlanders. Yesterday, I got in trouble for going out to get a massage and riding home with a guy from Beijing (even tho he’s been here for 2 months). No more massages, no more socializing with folks from Beijing, Guangzhou, etc. Anyway, our contract isn’t over til end of June, but we’re thinking we’d better get out now — at least one of us with the kids. They’re starting to cancel flights in and out of Hainan — yesterday all international flights and flights to Hong Kong were shut down. So to leave the country we have to pass through either Guangzhou, Shanghai, or Beijing. I’m thinking Shanghai is the safest bet. Any thoughts?

  17. Hi Everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Thank you for confirming that info!!! hehe… its crazy here.. the rumours that are flying about.

    Take Care,

    Annie

    PS. I just heard that two universities in shanghai have suspended classes. someone also said that some middle schools have stopped classes as well! could anyone confirm this or am i just hearing rumours again…

  18. My daughter’s kindergarten claimed New Century Kindergarten is quarrantined. One parent of a child attending the school is in hospital for SARS treatment. Another kindergarten in Pudong closed yesterday also. Unknown situation out there.

    My health insurance sales guy called yesterday and told me to be extra careful, he claimed that there are over 200 cases in Shanghai.

    Sun Daily in HK reports that one doctor in Shanghai claimed he saw over 37 patients with full blown SARS in one hospital!

    Wear good masks, wash hands often and avoid crowds!

  19. Annie, according to a student in one of the universities, Jiao Tong U has cancelled all of its outreach/extension programs, Shi Da (Teachers’ U) has one case of suspected SARS, Shanghai U nothing is closed.

    This student also said there is a rumor that some woman collapsed in the Xujiahui subway and died of SARS. But I think this is pure rumor. You have to find someone in the hospital to confirm that!

  20. I’m an expat in Shanghai. Regardless of Shanghai SARS count, at this juncture, it might be wise to go along with the Gov’t measures. Whatever their motives, and whether or not they fess up the real numbers is irrelevant, I’m sure the Chinese Gov’t is serious about SARS (by now) and is doing whatever in its power to curb it. Heed from Beijing experience, react rationally (one hopes), stay guarded and resolute. Avoid crowded places, heighten personal hygiene, be aware of your surrounding and people around you when out and about. And since the WHO verdict will be out today, perform your citizen duty and inform those you come into contact about the “potential” rise in SH SARS cases and at the same time, reassure them to stay calm and do not make rush decision and repeat the Beijing scene. It’s more dangerous to be in a crowded train or bus trying to flee the city than to stay put and be on guard. Moreover, massive movement of people might render the gov’t measures to contain SARS totally ineffective!

  21. hi caroline,

    yeah, our spring trips (beijing, xiamen) have been cancelled and our teachers from the teachers university have been prevented to come to teach at jiaotong.

    i have just confirmed with a friend that the teachers university has stopped all language classes.

    annie

  22. hi, I have lost all hope with Shanghai government today from the foreign news that Shanghai had made a even big fat lie than in Beijing, by setting up a old shabby hospital ( used to do the liver diseases treatment ) to let WHO for check up.

    THAT’S UNBELIVABLE. FOR GOD’S SAKE, DONT DO THIS. like the wonderful wonderful host in this web said, lies could not cure SARS, do not do this. PLEASE………..

  23. Current SARS definition emphasizes “… AND close contact with a suspect or probable case of SARS OR history of travel or residence in an affected area”. =>

    http://www.who.int/csr/sars/casedefinition/en/

    Bingo! S’hai gov’t may be giving out honest information–to the best of its knowledge–if they fail to trace locals (W/ SARS symptons but W/O “close contact” or “history”) to a “confirmed” SARS case!

    It seems WHO definition does not work with status quo here in S’hai . Should WHO definition be updated? Or perhaps the definition of “affected area” should cover all over the mainland?

    We S’hailanders are smart, aren’t we? Don’t worry, we have only two SARS cases here. With no trace of a hen, do you think an egg will turn out to be a real chicken? =)

  24. Hi Marie,

    I do not know if you have seen the live coverage yesterday evening by local Shanghai TV. WHO was actually very positive about the situation in Shanghai and the measures the SH goivenment has taken. They were only able to check about 10 hospitals but I can tell you it sounded extremely positive. words like an example for the rest of China” were used. The conference was in English with Chinese translation. It at least gave me a more better insight in the situation here.

    Chris

  25. Hi Marie,

    I do not know if you have seen the live coverage yesterday evening by local Shanghai TV. WHO was actually very positive about the situation in Shanghai and the measures the SH goivenment has taken. They were only able to check about 10 hospitals but I can tell you it sounded extremely positive. words like an example for the rest of China” were used. The conference was in English with Chinese translation. It at least gave me a more better insight in the situation here.

    Chris

  26. Just wear the right mask, wash hands often, avoid crowds, get plenty of sleep, open lots of windows and take some Vitamin C/antioxidant pills. Your chance of getting it will be as minimal as winning it big in the lotteries!

    Don’t panic, help as much as you can, and keep the city clean.

  27. I am a swiss reporter in shanghai living in a chinese house. My doorneighbour is extremely dirty and puts his dirt in front of my door.

    is this normal behaviour? is there a telefonnumber we can complain in english?

    thanks a lot fot your help ang good wishes cornelia reiwald 48 Gao An Lu

    200030 Shanghai

  28. It depends on where you live. Most new residential areas are clean but the old cities are still far for perfection. I understand how frustrated you are. I will be angry and want to find someone to report too. I am afraid I cannot tell you the number for your area. If you cannot or don’t want to talk to your neighbour directly, may be you can find the Ju Wei Hui – the civil organization for the area you live – I don’t know how to translate. Find some other residents in the same area to help you locate the Ju1 Wei3 Hui4.

  29. China reportedly still hiding SARS cases in Shanghai

    Time Asia is reporting that China is still hiding SARS cases, specifically those in Shanghai, where a WHO team is visiting by invitation. This seems hard to believe that any government in China would do this, but the past two reports from Time Asia, about China lying about the number of SARS cases, and about Beijing hospitals hiding patients from the WHO doctors, both turned out to be true, so I would treat this story as true until proven otherwise.

    As panic about SARS spreads in hard-hit Beijing and throughout China’s underdeveloped interior, Shanghai has so far appeared strangely untouched by the mystery virus. Local health officials in Shanghai on Thursday reported only two confirmed cases and 16 suspected cases, of which two are foreigners. In contrast, Beijing has reported more than 750 confirmed SARS cases. Wary that foreign investment might flee Shanghai the way it has from Hong Kong, central government officials early this week sent a directive to Shanghai municipal authorities asking city officials to continue promoting what has been touted as essentially a “SARS-free city,” a vice-mayoral aide told TIME.

    But is Shanghai really in the clear? Doctors in this city of 16 million have begun voicing doubts about the veracity of the government figures. Local medical staff also allege that World Health Organization experts, who are concluding a five-day trip to Shanghai, are being shown what one doctor at the No. 6 People’s Hospital describes as “a sanitized version of Shanghai’s SARS problem.” A doctor at the Shanghai Contagious Diseases Hospital told TIME that there are more than 30 suspected cases at their hospital alone, nearly double the official suspected caseload for the whole city. They and other doctors also say that Shanghai’s requirements for diagnosing SARS are much more stringent than elsewhere in the world and that if the standards used in, say, Hong Kong were applied in Shanghai, many of the suspected caseload would be shifted to confirmed cases.

    At the Huashan Hospital in a leafy district of Shanghai, doctors and nurses confirmed there were seven suspected cases at their hospital, although the hospital’s official press liaison says they currently have none. The patients are being kept in a makeshift isolation ward housed in a dilapidated building formerly used for hepatitis patients. Doctors and nurses were not wearing full isolation suits; many were simply wearing four or five simple surgical masks over each other. But on Wednesday, security guards waiting for possible WHO visitors were ushering foreigners to a fancy high-rise building nearby. On the 15th floor of this building, medical staff in isolation suits greeted visitors, while other staff conspicuously sprayed disinfectant around the ward. There were several newly made signs in English pointing out the “respiratory clinic” and other facilities. No such sprucing-up measures, however, had been taken at the makeshift ward where patients were actually being kept.

    .

    There is more. Since Chinese citizens are still blocked from viewing Time Asia online by the great firewall, I’ve excerpted the rest of the article below. Read the rest of the article…

  30. an expat now in HK:

    Thanks for the posting. The number of the cases in Shanghai seems far below the average. Considering the big population and frequent flights and trains to other areas (Guangdong and Beijing), the number are too small. However, Shanghai is a very unique city in China. The government has been known as one of the most efficient city and the medical facilities and the disease surveillance and reporting system are much better than the average. No one knows the real number. The possiblity of the low number still exists. Check out the WHO’s findings at http://www.who.int/csr/don/2003_04_26/en/ It is telling the other story than TIME Asia.

  31. It’s good to be optimistic and everything, but the government’s record speaks for itself. If they want to gain people’s trust they are going to need to put forward a more accurate breakdown of confirmed and suspected SARS cases, including a list of the effected buildings/areas (along the lines of what is being done in HK).

    Life will go on here and business will get done no matter what the actual SARS situation is, but the government is not going achieve anything by downplaying the numbers or covering cases up. If the ‘official’ numbers are not believable, people will assume the worst. We now have a greater since of panic in Shanghai than if they would have told the truth to begin with.

  32. One issue in China is that the provincial government has a lot of power. Even if the CP government in Beijing instructs the Provincial governments to be honest about reporting, it is unlikely that they will do so just because Beijing tells them to.

  33. Hello,

    Thanks for the personal information. It is more complete than all of the “official” information.

    A friend of mine took a trip to Shanghai, in spite of all the warnings. She is there right now. What are the chances that she might be quarantined?

    Thanks for your time and assistance.

    Ida

  34. Once upon a time, there were a man and a boy kept in a cell with a tiger. The tiger just fully fed and had no intention to take more.

    The man watched it with great panic;

    the boy was so happy to play with the tiger;

    by dawn, both of them turned to the breakfast of the tiger.

    Ignorance is blissful in China.

    ***********************************

    See no evil, hear no evil, even there is an evil, it’s an illustion.

    let no mask, then must no SARS, then foreign investment will stay, China will be strong, the strongest in the world…………

    ************************************

    My friends in Guangzhou never knew the outbreak and they still today insisted NO SARS in Guangzhou, it’s all made up or few cases imported by Hong Kong and Vietnam. Don’t laugh, these people are not farmers, they have US degree and had lived in USA for sometime.

    *************************************

    they wear no face mask for the last year,

    they have no SARS,

    they have a good life,

    so,

    there is no SARS in Guangzhou,

    that’s what they think,

    no one can change,

    so why bother the truth,

    if the truth is so heavy………..

    LET’S BELIEVE NO SUCH THING AND GO BACK TO LIFE.

  35. excellent information!!My son is student in Shangai and we can’t be quiet in France!!!

  36. 10,000 people under quarrantine in our neighbor city, Nanjing. That doesn’t make me feel comfortable at all.

    Anybody have news on the number of actual cases in Nanjing?

  37. Zhao,

    For more info, please refer to

    http://home.wangjianshuo.com/archives/20030502_with_sars_all_we_have_is_time.htm#000212

    The first suspected case in Nanjing was discovered on 30 April, and there was one confirmed cases as of 2 May. Jiangsu province reported 4 confirmed cases and 18 suspected cases as of yesterday. (Yangtse.com)

    In addition, two Frenchmen came down with SARS symptoms upon arrival in Paris early this week, after working in the city for 6 weeks. (RTHK.org.hk)

    I don’t see any new information coming from Nanjing in terms of number of cases. However, it was reported yesterday that local schools now require students to wear face masks on their way to school and to wear gloves when taking public transport. Passengers stepping of the trains are now registered and their temperature taken. (Yangtse.com)

  38. if you had friends contracted SARS and now he is recovered in Shanghai. Ask him how many ” flu ” patient here. It is never acceptable for many Chineses to not open the eyes to the reality.

    My friends from Europe asked me a question ” now Guangzhou denied the source from Guangzhou, Beijing said it’s from Hong Kong, then Hong Kong with the most advanced medical facilities and wealth, still many dead and in ICU, and Shanghai is like the story of Jesus, untouched by SARS, with strong connected to HK,Guangzhou,Beijing………where SARS from ? ”

    Chineses are love to lie.

  39. I still believe Shanghai is being protected by a media cloak on the real number SARS in Shanghai…China knows that Shanghai is the financial back bone for them. There is no logic behind low numbers here…larger city, more traveled, not any cleaner, still we see the bad habits of spitting, coughing, sneezing, peeing in the street…you name it….how can the numbers be so low?

    I hear the hospitals are packed out with pneumonia patients…but of course not SARS. Is Beijing shipping the sick to Beijing to protect Shanghai?

    I have so many more questions than answers…

  40. The latest news is that another SARS patient in Shanghai died today. 2 out of 7– Not good! Guess everyone already knew that? How come no news from this site lately?

  41. The 2nd death in Shanghai was reported at least seven days ago!!! According to health bureau. 8 confirmed SARS cases have been reported. There are no suspect cases.

    Statistics are always dubious in any country. I am of the opinion so-called suspect cases are often people with mild symptoms. Once they recover, they get off the list…

    But from a public policy standpoint, there is no point in scaring the public with huge nos. The point is to raise awareness of the epidemic, so the focal point should be on the no. of newly discovered cases in a given period and the no. of patients still hospitalized for SARS.

  42. great site! thanks to whoever started it! i’m just looking around for information regarding the SARS situation in shanghai right now and came across it…

    i’m supposed to study abroad at CEIBS in pudong (near shanghai) this coming Fall and had some doubts as to whether or not i should go… i’m a little worried about SARS, but it seems that Shanghai has really been spared…

    what are your thoughts on how SARS will be come September? I really want to go abroad as my parents were raised in Shanghai and it would be nice to really spend some time there and learn chinese… but people are telling me the numbers are way too low to be true, etc.

    and i’m wondering how it is in the city – are people pretty much wearing masks everywhere still? does no one go out anymore? are all the restaurants empty?

    thanks so much!

    kristine

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