Making a permanent impression since 1994
June 9, 2003
-- Notebook --
Singapore teen faces SARS fears
By Kaishi Lee
But I’m not the only one worried here.
On the train home one day, I sneezed and a man sitting beside me immediately sprang up from his seat and ran to the other end of the cabin.
I’ve seen people shielding their faces with handkerchiefs, wearing masks and a craze for products which supposedly prevent SARS. Even the government has formed a ministerial committee to combat SARS.
SARS is a
new type of atypical pneumonia, which is an infection of the lung. It
appears to spread via droplet transmission, is a serious infection and can
lead to death.
In late March, when the Ministry of Education closed schools for 12 days, e-learning got into full swing as my school conducted lessons online.
The upcoming arts extravaganza, the Singapore Arts Festival, has also been affected by the virus. Its initial slogan for this year was “Be Bitten by the Arts Bug” but after the outbreak of SARS, it’s changed its slogan to “Impressions.”
In school, we’ve just each been issued a thermometer and have to record our temperatures twice daily in a notebook, which will be checked weekly.
Before any public holidays, I’m sent home with a declaration form to be signed by my parents, certifying I’ve not visited any SARS-stricken place or any foreign country.
Still, SARS has brought out the best in us.
So far, more than $15 million has been raised for The Courage Fund, set up to aid victims, families and health-care workers.
A SARS channel, a joint
community project among three Singapore media companies, will be launched
soon. It will broadcast programs on SARS and help Singaporeans better overcome the disease.
This isn’t the first time
people have been scared.
Years earlier, we were
petrified by Mad Cow Disease and stopped eating McDonalds’ burgers. Hong
Kong’s bird flu made us weary of chicken for a time and Malaysia’s
Nipah virus caused us to fret about pork.
I guess that SARS has
taught me to be more careful.
Living with SARS is difficult -- but there’s always SARSI (a popular carbonated drink) to drown my doubts.
|© 2003 by The Tattoo. All rights reserved.|