To my surprise, I found my site was listed on MSNBC.com. Here is the URL:
In a similar vein, Shanghai blogger Jian Shuo Wang is using the help of e-mail from friends to disseminate SARS information on his blog. Emails are always quicker than local newspapers, he points out. As early as February 12, before the illness was even given a name, Jian Shuo Wang was relying on, and blogging about, reports from friends in Guangzhou about concern over the disease taking serious hold on the population there.
I love the idea of Weblog Central on MSNBC. It is the “gates to the world of personal news”. The best thing is that it gives chances for small sites to be listed on the famous news site. My friend R G runs his site of Tiger Cafe and was listed as Best Food Blog. He was also very happy about the link.
Face masks – I was scared, really scared
Want to know people really feel in a SARS infected areas? I can tell you. Before 11:38 AM today, I can still talk about SARS, the data of infected people and how serious the problem is with ease. At 12:38 AM, I saw the first person wearing mask on the street. At 12:40 AM, I saw the second.
I suddenly doubt the quality of the air – I felt shortness of breath and difficulty breathing. It is true – I mean physically. The world suddenly seems so dangerous – just like everyone is dangerous. Although I feel OK very soon, but I do remember the feeling of the shock at that time.
Feeling the danger
To realize the danger and to feel the danger are too different thing. When you realize the danger, you are not worried. What do you think if you know that in Guangzhou, the traffic accidents killed 1739 people in the city of Guangzhou in the year of 2002 alone? (source: pcauto.com [Chinese site])? You are not scared and the travel and business trip to Guangzhou will not be paused. This number is much larger than the number of SARS infected people in Guangzhou. But the world is just more concerned about SARS than traffic accident – it is not because SARS is more dangerous, it is because people can feel the danger.
Here is some Chinese commentary on the Chinese SARS story by Cyberfree.
The web link to Cyberfree’s posting is
I found it by doing a search on SARS in Chinese [非典型肺炎] on Topforum
http://www.topforum.com , a website that collects the most popular
articles daily from hundreds of Chinese language websites both within
and outside the PRC. Some Chinese post comments on foreign websites
outside of China in order to avoid censorship. Chinese speaking readers
can do their own searches on that site.
This is a summary translation. See the URL for the full Chinese text
to get more detail.
All Too Typical: A Review of China’s Handling of Atypical Pnumonia (SARS)
In response to the SARS epidemic, the World Health Organization for the
first time in decades released a travel advisory to all the travellers
of the world suggesting that they avoid travel to Guangdong Province
China and to Hong Kong. Deaths occurred in Beijing, so SARS finally got
the attention of China’s leaders and surfaced as an issue. Now people
can start to form an understanding of this matter, but the more that is
made public the more fearful one becomes.
Speaking about fear, when SARS erupted in Guangdong rumors flew
everywhere but the government did not bother to investigate. The media
reported it for one day and then shut up. People heard that vinegar
could prevent the illness so everyone wanted to buy vinegar. As the news
spread, the wild purchases of vinegar spread across the whole country,
even reaching Xinjiang. A reporter from China Youth Daily in February
even wrote about the panic to buy vinegar and other folk remedies as a
character flaw of the Chinese people that they would just run wild on
the basis of rumors. When reporters from Southern TV news went to a
hospital in Guangzhou Municipality, they demanded that the doctors and
nurses threw upon the doors of the quarantine area for the reporters and
let them take photographs in order to show just how “safe” SARS is.
Seems like some journalists have indeed evolved faster than the rest of
us — no brain, no conscience and nearly completely inhumane.
Once SARS erupted in February, no paper barrier could contain the
flames! At a live broadcast of a press conference held on February 11 to
announce that the SARS epidemic was under control and there was no need
to worry, a Yangcheng Evening News reporter asked Director Huang of the
Guangzhou Municipality Health Department if this pnumonia could have
been passed to people from domestic livestock. Huang replied “You will
be held accountable for these words of yours!!” This is a classic
response. Huang could have answered “yes” or “no” or “don’t know”. What
does he mean saying “you will be held accountable!!” to a journalist who
was merely asking a question on behalf of the people? This kind of
response is very confusing to the Guangzhou resident who watched this
meeting on television. At the press conference, Huang announced that the
number of infected people was 290 of whom five had died. On February 13,
Nanfang Daily reported that as of February 12, the number of people who
had been cured of SARS and left the hospital had increased to 93.
>From February 11 to the end of March, all the Chinese web sites and
forums deleted any reference to SARS. Sometimes phone calls were to
websites demanding that an article mentioning SARS be deleted. There
were also no reports in the Chinese newspapers, magazines or televsion.
>From February 11 onwards, we didn’t seen any more figures although we
heard of friends or friends or colleagues of friends going into the
hospital for SARS.
Finally professors of the Chinese Academy of Sciences said that since we
don’t know the cause of SARS, there is no effective medicine. Medicine
can help somewhat, but people basically survive or die of SARS on their
When SARS erupted in Hong Kong, Hong Kong people knew next to nothing
about it. Within two weeks, several hundred people had been infected and
several dozen people had died. The Hong Kong media reported on SARS
every day including the number of people infected. The government made
reports every few days and then began giving a daily press conference.
Then the Hong Kong government immediately released new reports on SARS.
The Hong Kong government closed the schools and disinfected public
places. This kind of action made the terrified people of Guangdong
Province very, very envious! We don’t know anything at all!
Finally Guangdong Province reported the SARS numbers for February. As of
February 28, the number of SARS cases increased to 792, an increase of
250% while 31 people had died, an increase of six times. Is this what
the meant when they said “the epidemic is basically under control?”
On March 28 the former Vice Minister of Foreign Trade and Econmic
Cooperation Long Yougtu told an investment conference in Hong Kong
criticized journalists for hurting Hong Kong for making too big a thing
When a Chinese leader when he heard that three people had died of SARS,
said “Twelve people in Beijing got SARS and three died? Beijing has ten
million people! If 500,000 people get infected, sure there would be
panic, but we don’t need to get so excited.”
Some people say that Beijing is very concerned about how China looks to
foreigners. But are Guangdong people foreigners? Are not Guangdong and
Hong Kong people Chinese? Although the chracters “Chinese” are not
stamped on my forehead, my identity card and passport are marked
“People’s Republic of China”. Sure, Guangdong is full of barbarians and
gangsters, but still, but do we need to have 500,000 people infected
before someone pays attention? This is telling the people something:
SARS is dangerous, you could get infected. I can’t help but think about
the name of a movie: “I love my country but my country doesn’t love me”.
[Note: a line from the 1980 Chinese play “Unrequited Love”, later the
movie “Sun and Man”]
According to the WHO, in Guangdong Province there are 1153 SARS cases
and 46 deaths. In Hong Kong 734 cases and 17 deaths. The visit of the
the famous Gushule [??] orchestra to Beijing was cancelled, the women’s
world ice hockey championship won’t be held in Beijing; the summit of
the World Economic Forum at Beijing has been delayed was has the meeting
of the World Intellectual Property Organization, the International Labor
Organization is considering not holding its conference in Beijing. Some
American papers are even saying that all contact with China should be
cut off and demand that China accurately report on the SARS situation.
Human rights is an excuse to demonize China but what is so sad is that
we have handed them an excuse to demonize China. Kong, the Chinese
Foreign Ministry spokesman said that China didn’t report SARS early on
because the numbers had no reached a level that would require such a
report. China is safe, China is not an epidemic area. Finally China
became the only one of the 23 countries and areas in the world reporting
SARS to be the subject of a WHO travel warning.
In conclusion, let me quote the “United Morning News” of Singapore:
“The Singapore people and government know that when faced with an
epidemic blocking news reports is a very stupid measure. The price to be
paid for stopping these reports is very high. It is very simple: you can
stop the news for a little while, but you can’t stop the disease agent
or the spread of the epidemic….”
Unless there is a state secret or some other compelling reason involved,
the people have a right to know about matters relating to their
interests and safety. If a country has too many “sensitive” matters, if
the government classifies too many matters as state secrets, and keeps
people from knowing bout too many things, this shows that the government
does not trust the people and also lacks confidence in itself.”
why do some people die from SARS and other’s dont?
The epidemic of SARS appears to have started in Guangdong Province, China in November 2002. The first case of SARS was reportedly originated in Shunde, Foshan, Guangdong in Nov 2002, and the patient, a farmer, was treated in the First People’s Hospital of Foshan (Mckay Dennis). The patient died soon after, and no definite diagnosis was made on his cause of death. Despite taking some action to control it, Chinese government officials did not inform the World Health Organization of the outbreak until February 2003. This lack of openness caused delays in efforts to control the epidemic, resulting in criticism of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) from the international community. The PRC has since officially apologized for early slowness in dealing with the SARS epidemic.