You are hereSARS - My sister, and the world economy

SARS - My sister, and the world economy


By smithdm3 - Posted on 17 April 2003

So my sister comes home this weekend, kind of sad to think that her trip to the far-east has been disrupted by what could turn into the first global plague. She'll miss her trip to Thailand, but then again, she gets to see mom again which I'm sure they are both excited about. Jenn will be quarantined for 10 days with her other teacher friends to ensure that she won't spread any possible infection, of which we will pray she has none.
It'll be nice to have her home again.

Now, onto the global economy.
So, my thinking here is this. India has unveiled their first SARS case, China won't upwardly revise their totals, and developed countries like Canada are having a tough time containing the virus.
So, what does this mean... okay, let's be hypothetical first off.
It will take two years to develop a vaccine for SARS, which is based on a coronavirus. Let's say that this doesn't evolve into strains that the vaccine can't handle. So, now we've got two years for this infliction to run rampant throughout society, and doubt me not - it will. Even a well developed country like Canada is having a hard time containing it, think of underdeveloped countries like China and India, with huge population bases - who knows what it'll do there. Hopefully it will kill few, but let's hazard a huge hypothesis that it wipes out 10% of their populations ... or 250 million people. Crazy huh? 1/10 people in a population of 1.5 billion of Chinese, and 1 billion Indians.
Anyway, think of what that will do to the manufacturing sector, which relies on China and other Asian countries for a huge amount of consumer products manufacturing. Think of what it will do to India's incubating information technology sector, and what that will do to outsourced call centres and software development. Now, think about a global slowdown in travel, with hindered if not limited travel across borders as nations hunker down to protect their citizens.
So now goods can't be made, moved or supported...

Will President Bush declare a war on SARS? This could be a lot worse then terrorism.

But then again, maybe it'll all be over in a few months.

Okay... enough of me wasting your time with my hypothetical economic armageddon talk.

Interesting points, Dave. Wish your sister all the best.

I'm sure that for the time being, the States will treat this threat as they initially treat all others -- hukering down, closing their borders, and hoping it will go away. Once the virus starts infecting *Americans*, then they'll throw some serious resources at it.

I'm ignoring SARS and SARS-related news. I wash my hands every day I come into work, because I ride public transit, and wash them when I get home as well, but I ignore SARS because the statistics show that it is no more dangerous than cancer, drinking and driving, or many other ailments. More people will die from AIDS than SARS, I predict.

That said, what about something potentially larger - new waves of racism towards Asians. There is such a strong association between SARS and asian nations, that I can imagine conservative, paranoid North Americans recoiling in various physical and psychological ways from Asians. I almost do it myself, wondering if this will be one of the alleged "super-spreaders". I wonder if Asians will be feared as the group carrying the Virus in much larger proportions than any other Ethnic group.

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