One of the clear aspects that the SARS article brings out is the notion of how media influences social response of individuals in cases of outbreaks. The author notes that information from the media, especially for the SARS that originated from Asia, negatively affected the attitude of Americans towards the Asian communities in America. In my opinion before allowing the release of such information, scientist should ensure they take necessary precautionary measures to avoid stigmatization of any specific community because of an outbreak of a disease.
One can also note that aspect of categorizing disease based on the situation of people is also prevalent. The author notes that people who live in marginalized areas are more prone to diseases such as tuberculosis (Eichelberger 1293). Hence, people socially make the conclusion that these people are responsible for their own situations. The idea of these types of socially response does not contribute in addressing the problem.
People respond to the information provided by the media concerning the outbreaks differently. The increasing presence of the social media makes it even more easily for a person to spread fear whether based on facts or not. According to Goode and Ben-Yehuda (156), moral panics develop or create scenarios where the real danger of the problem is blown out of proportion or is exaggerated. For instance, in the case of SARS outbreak an email propagated that several individuals had been infected because of eating in China Town (Eichelberger 1284). I do agree with the author in the sense that addressing of diseases when they pose a threat to the wealthier society is promoting stigmatization and may increase the persistence of a disease (Eichelberger 1293).
Eichelberger, Laura. "SARS and New York's Chinatown: The politics of risk and blame during
An epidemic of fear." Social Science & Medicine 65.6 (2007): 1284-1295. Print.
Goode, Erich, and Nachman Ben-Yehuda. "MORAL PANICS: Culture, Politics, and Social
Construction." Annual Review of Sociology 20.1 (1994): 149-171. Print.