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SARS and Singapore

(or humour?) Rod Liddle: How I was seized for my smoker’s cough:

Despite the almost total absence of SARS around here, the various governments are very worried, apart from the Singaporean government, which, I suspect, likes nothing more than imposing rigorous screening and quarantine programmes upon its somewhat cowed citizens and scrubbing everything down with disinfectant every five minutes. Stand on a street corner for too long in Singapore and you’re likely to be sprayed with Dettol. But that was true long before SARS presented itself. …

We are still in the blame stage of this ‘epidemic’ and the blame shifts according to where you are and what the local government believes. A similar pattern of xenophobic mythology established itself during the early stages of Asian flu, Aids and the Ebola virus. Nasty, incurable diseases are almost always the fault of foreigners doing despicable, uncivilised things, usually with animals. Betcha there’s a gruesome SARS film from Hollywood by the end of next year, with a heroic American doctor played by Ben Affleck, who saves Chicago, or something.

Rod Liddle is very clearly on holiday.

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