stuck in quarantine? runninga fever or hacking with a dry cough and wondering if you should lock yourself in the closet?With the Conflict In Iraq now over, the news media are now able to pay wall-to-wall attention to the spread of SARS.
No surprise that this often hysterical flood of information and reporting has spread to the Web. The Internet loves high anxiety, and the disease is spreading across the Web like a, uh, virus, split between informative sites on the disease and folks trying to cash in on the madness.
Is all the information helpful? Perhaps, but quality control has never been a particularly big concern on the Web. At the very least, you'll have something to keep you entertained if you're stuck at home dressed in a gown and rubber gloves.
The Centers for Disease Control, based in Atlanta, Georgia. As official a site for the disease as exists, including basic info, tips on quarantine and frequently asked questions about how SARS is spread and what you can do to avoid catching it.
Where would the Web be without online advice-giving? Web MD is the most popular health site, offering online medical info including (surprise, surprise) constantly updated SARS info. Convenient, but treat with caution. Should asking an anonymous person on the Net replace seeing a real doctor? No.
The South China Morning Post, offering info direct from the supposed heart of the disease.
The media are at least as complicit in spreading the fear of SARS as hacking subway and GO Transit riders. This story from the International Herald Tribune talks about the importance of perspective in the media and how 24-hour coverage can and perhaps has blown this all out of proportion.
One of many sites trying to cash in on the SARS epidemic, selling face masks at a furious pace. Sadly, though, they don't stock the Hello Kitty and Burberry surgical masks creating a sensation amongst hipsters in Hong Kong and Japan.
Many believe that the global spread of SARS can be viewed as a test run for what might happen in the event of an outbreak of, say, smallpox. This terrifying story from the New Yorker details how that disease would spread worldwide and how powerless we would be to stop it.
Chilling reading any time, but especially now. email@example.com