SARS – It’s coming to take you away, a-ha, o-ho

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SARS is still spreading. World wide we’re seeing some dramatic attempts to prevent further spreading of the disease. In Beijing authorities today ordered the temporary closure of public places such as cinemas and libraries and suspended the approval of marriages as part of stepped-up efforts to stem the spread. As of the 26th of April, a cumulative total of 4836 cases with 293 deaths caused by SARS have occurred in 26 countries. Online newspapers are crammed with SARS scares. But what the same newspapers don’t tell you is that today Malaria killed 3000 African children. And the same thing happened yesterday. And the day before that. And even the day before that! I guess you see where I’m going here, and if you don’t, you’re just dumb. Yeah, SARS sucks big time. It may kill you. But for now, there’s only a 6% chance or so that you’ll actually die, if you’re unlucky enough get infected. And the chance for that happening is still pretty damn slim. Scientists all over the world are working on identifying the virus and coming up with a vaccine. You can even participate yourself.

Don’t get me wrong. SARS is bad. If it gets out of control, millions might die. 6% of the world’s population are a lot of people. And to be dead is not a good thing. But still. Why don’t we hear about those 21000 African kids who died of Malaria in the last week?

I finished Neil Gaiman’s American Gods yesterday evening. It’s a good book, but not so good that I feel I have to have my own copy in the book shelf. If you liked other work by Gaiman, the Sandman series is definitely worth mentioning, or you’re into Stephen King, then American Gods is a book you should read.


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