Government Policy and Disease Control Recently, with the continuous progress of human, much more attention than ever before that has been paid to globalization, such as global trade, global climate, global travel and so on. Among them, the global disease is a significant thing because health or life is the most important for individuals. What do you think when global disease is mentioned, Black Death, HIV/AIDS or Bird Flu?
For me, SARS is unforgettable memory to me because I have personally experienced that disaster. It happened in 2003, and I was in junior high school. Suddenly, I found the word “SARS” appeared in anywhere: newspaper, TV, radio and website. The country was in a panic atmosphere, and people did not want to get SARS because there are people died everyday due to it. Now, I will talk about government policy and disease control during the SARS incident. There is a perception that our government has already solved this problem and controlled the disease well, while a counter argument is that the Chinese government still needs to improve a lot of things.
Personally, I am in favor of the latter view because I found the SARS incident was caused by poor government decisions and policies, a lack of preparedness and intervention, and untruthful reporting during the government dealt with this event. Although some people think that Chinese government did well in controlling the SARS, others believe that the Chinese government should improve decisions and policies when they face a sudden infectious disease. Like Fidler who is a professor of Law and Ira C. Batman Faculty Fellow in Indiana University said, “China still looms large in any future confrontation with SARS, raising concerns about China’s attitude should the virus and disease return.
As a group of public health experts observed, any of solutions to solve the multifaceted puzzle of SARS and to prevent future epidemics must come from China” (190). It is easy to see from the fiddler’s words that China made a huge contribution in fight against SARS. Meanwhile, in the next few years, the government also paid attention to those who suffered from SARS but left aftermath, and the government suffered help and Medicare to them. On the other hand, some people argue that the government did not good enough in the SARS event. They think there were many things the government needs to improve.
For example, in the city, many isolation regions were built, but there were no places like isolation region in the villages. Again, there were no good policies and medical facilities in rural areas. In this way, that most of those people who pass away due to the SARS are people lived in rural areas. In addition, “Clearly, SARS spread rapidly from person to person, particularly among close contacts and health-care workers who cared for SARS patients. It is also clear that the predominant mode of transmission was through respiratory secretions, as with most respiratory infections” (Kleinman and Watson, 23).
We can know that the SARS is spread through the air, so the government passed a new law that any person gets the fever had to report, and people had to check their temperature three times a day. As a result, some people were sick but did not tell anyone because they were afraid that they would be quarantined. In that time, we had to check temperature before we enter school, so there was a long queue of students that waiting for measured temperature; in this way, we always late to class, and there was not a normal order in the school. I knew that other places also same as our school. Therefore, all walks of life are very chaos
because of this policy. It is undeniable that the government made a contribution in the fight against SARS; nevertheless, there were problems with preparedness and intervention when our government dealt with this event. First, they are not ready to work for sudden illness. When SARS was coming, the whole country is in a panic. There is an old saying in China: people should do repair work before the rain; it means that take precautions. Satcher who served as the surgeon general of the United States from 1998 to 2002 and simultaneously held the position of assistant secretary for health from 1998 to 2001 said, “Thus pandemic preparedness is one of the most important goals for us as individuals, families, and communities” (463,).
He also demonstrated, “Any successful strategy for pandemic preparedness in the United States must overcome the barriers of disparities in access to care, including lack of 1 / 3 information, distrust of information, lack of access to early detection and to early intervention” (464), and “Thus it is very clear that in order for us to succeed in pandemic preparedness we must attack disparities in health and the conditions that lead to disparities in health and health outcomes” (465).
From his sentences we can know that how important preparedness is. If we do preparedness well, when the sudden illness is coming, we will be not fearful, and the loss of human will reduce. Second, after the outbreak of the SARS, we should control many things in different areas, not just focus on the disease. For instance, the government should control the prices and goods. In that time, some experts said that salt and vinegar can increase the resistance for the SARS.
Therefore, people began to frantically buy vinegar and salt; as a result, there are many people could not buy them in the supermarket, and some families no salt and vinegar to eat. Meanwhile, some drugs are rumored to treat SARS that their prices were raised several times; in this way, there are a lot of families cannot eat medicine because it is too expensive. Also, isolation policy implementation is not complete. My brother study in a university in Beijing, and there were a few students got SARS in that university, so the university was quarantined. However, my brother was so afraid that go home secretly. This is a loophole. If he had gotten the SARS, his families would have infected.
So, we can image that the consequence is serious. Finally, our government made a big mistake that they hid the truth of the SARS because they were afraid that it would cause people to panic. From denial to mass mobilization, WHO told us a process that our government’s handling of this event. They described, “When the virus emerged in China, the public-health infrastructure was sadly underfunded and the country ill prepared to respond. China failed to issue a warning as the virus spread across the country and outside borders”, and “The international community and media also kept up the pressure to respond. Once China’s central government realized that it needed to seriously tackle this new disease, the turnaround was impressive. By late April, China had started to mobilize its entire society in a ‘people war’ against SARS. ” (73).
Actually, the SARS happened in 2002, and we knew that in 2003. As the saying goes, the truth could not be hidden. When things are so serious that cannot be hidden, people will be more fearful. For instance, One day, my classmate cried in the class, and teacher asked her reason, she said: “My mother is a nurse, and she was quarantined because she has to take care of patients who get SARS. I am worried she would never come back.
” Fear surrounded us because we heard that SARS was not serious. Meanwhile, the thing real happened in our midst, and it did not read in the newspaper, see in the TV or Website, or hear from the radio. That was the first time I felt death was so close to me. We should know the truth at the beginning, as like Tyshenko said “when confronted with new risks, individuals react rationally. They want to know just how much risk the unknown represents, and whether or not it requires added precautions for harm to be avoided or minimized. Individuals need accurate information to assess risk levels, and this must be available in a timely manner from a credible source” (244). In this way, we would be prepared, and we did not panic like this.
Besides, if our government had reported to World Health Organization earlier instead of deleting news, blocking forums and lying, we would have gotten help from the WHO or other countries earlier, the SARS would have been controlled fast, and we would have reduced the loss of human. In addition, other countries could do preparedness in advance. To sum up, our government not only made a poor government decisions and policies during SARS event; but also made some mistakes such as a lack of preparedness and intervention, and untruthful reporting when they faced SARS. Our government should accept criticism from others.
For instance, “As mighty as China’s economic growth may seem, the latest crisis reminds us all why their economy may never get to a point where it rivals America’s. That the Chinese government was so slow to search for medical help, that no independent news media could document the disease’s devastating effects and that now their hotels, airlines and economy in general is suffering is evidence that no amount of economic growth can be sustained without a proper foundation of freedom.
This isn’t just limited to SARS, but also HW/AIDS, where this disease is reaching the point of a crisis in China, yet their very own people seem oblivious, if not careless, to the impending threat 2 / 3 on their very own national security” (Henderson, 58). Our government only accepts criticism and corrects errors; our country will do better if there is another global disease in the future. Works Cited Fidler, David P. SARS: Governance and the Globalization of Disease. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004. Johnson, June. Global Issues, Local Arguments: Readings for Writing.
Boston: Longman, 2010. Kleinman, Arthur, and James L. Watson. SARS in China: Prelude to Pandemic? MStanford, Calif. : Stanford University Press, 2006. Mitch Henderson. “SARS and Globalization. ” World Trade (2003): 58. SARS: How A Global Epidemic Was Stopped. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization, Western Pacific Region, 2006. Tyshenko, Michael G. , and Cathy Paterson. SARS Unmasked Risk Communication of Pandemics and Influenza in Canada. Montreal & Kingston London Ithaca: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2010. POWERED BY TCPDF (WWW. TCPDF. ORG)