An Epidemic of Rumors: How Stories Shape Our Perceptions of by Jon D. Lee

By Jon D. Lee

In a deadly disease of Rumors, Jon D. Lee examines the human reaction to epidemics in the course of the lens of the 2003 SARS epidemic. Societies frequently reply to the eruption of ailment via developing tales, jokes, conspiracy theories, legends, and rumors, yet those narratives are usually extra harmful than the illnesses they reference. the data disseminated via them is frequently erroneous, incorporating xenophobic factors of the disease's origins and questionable scientific information regarding power treatments and treatment.

Folklore reports brings very important and helpful views to figuring out cultural responses to the outbreak of affliction. via this etiological learn Lee indicates the similarities among the narratives of the SARS outbreak and the narratives of alternative modern disorder outbreaks like AIDS and the H1N1 virus. His research means that those sickness narratives don't spring up with new outbreaks or ailments yet are in non-stop stream and are recycled opportunistically. Lee additionally explores even if this predictability of vernacular affliction narratives provides the chance to create counter-narratives published systematically from the govt or clinical technology to stymie the unwanted effects of the frightened rumors that so frequently inflame humanity.

With capability for useful software to public overall healthiness and overall healthiness coverage, a virulent disease of Rumors might be of curiosity to scholars and students of wellbeing and fitness, medication, and folklore.

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In the pages of medical journals, the first two editions of The Lancet published in May had eleven SARS-related articles between them, including three fast-tracked and peer-reviewed “Research Letters” that revealed the results of studies designed to investigate optimal diagnosing methods as well as treatment and preventative measures. News articles and editorials concerning China’s failure to deal adequately with the disease in late 2002 and early 2003 made up the bulk of the remaining pieces. Unlike the BMJ, the pages of The Lancet had so far remained free of discussions of rumor and narrative in the progression of the epidemic.

Both journals mentioned that chlamydia was also found by the Chinese authorities in the lung tissue of many of the early cases. The Lancet also mentioned that bioterrorism had not been ruled out as a possible cause. (Washer 2004, 2565) In the March 29 edition of the BMJ, an editorial set a grim tone in its discussion of this new epidemic by opening with “Plagues are as certain as death and taxes” (Zambon and Nicholson 2003, 677). At least one academic voice subsequently claimed that this pessimistic tone set the stage for the subsequent week’s worth of newspaper reports (Washer 2004).

Choir members with sore throats or coughs were asked not to sing, as the act could spread expectorant— and thus disease—over the congregation. On Easter Sunday—considered by many the most important celebration of the Catholic Church—Bishop John Boissonneau of the Archdiocese of Toronto excused from attending mass those who were sick or in quarantine because of SARS (D. Brown 2003). The April 19 edition of the BMJ contained another news story, this one remarking on the difficulty in controlling the virus’s spread (Parry 2003c).

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