Take Y/Our Vitamins!

On Friday afternoon I arrived at the registration desk for an international conference being held over the weekend in Ningbo (by car, roughly three hours southeast of Shanghai). The attendant checked my name off the attendee list, handed me my delegate badge, a tote bag containing a directory of attendees, a bound copy of the…

Shanghai to Mexican passport holders: tortillas are for losers.

[UPDATE: Jim Fallows on PR, nationalism and public health. Highly recommended. By the Fallows analysis, a better title for this post would be “Shanghai to Shanghainese: tortillas are for losers.” A point for which I think there would be widespread agreement. I stand corrected.] In my travels, I’ve learned that nothing stokes the patriotic vanities…

Fever (even) When You Hold Me Tight: Shanghai’s unmistakable H1N1-related PR mistake? – UPDATED

Shanghai Scrap remains agnostic as to whether or not H1N1 is being hyped all out of proportion to its danger. But Shanghai Scrap is not agnostic about whether or not H1N1 hype is dangerous to the media and those who feed it information. Case in point: late this afternoon, Hong Kong confirmed that its first…

Don’t sneeze at others: SARS memories for a swine flu present

Now that swine flu hysteria is close to full bloom, I dug into the old photo archive and pulled up this classic set of instructional posters from SARS-era Shanghai. For a couple of months during Winter/Spring 2003, these were pasted everywhere – every spare wall (anybody out there remember if these showed up in other…

Bird Flu? Needs more research.

Early last week a Hong Kong infectious disease expert announced that – in his opinion – China was suffering an outbreak of bird flu among poultry. This conclusion was based upon two factors: first, eight people had been infected with H5N1 since early December; and second, Hong Kong scientists had detected H5N1 virus in dead…

Just in time for flu season … No more quarantine forms!

According to Xinhua: Beginning next month, international passengers will no longer need to fill out a quarantine form upon entering China. If you’ve been an international arrival at any of China’s airports over the last four years, you know the routine: it’s the little white photocopied sheet (in Shanghai, at least) requiring that you disclose…