Going to the Olympics? Leave the Kids at Home

  Previous  |  Next  

Tuesday May 06, by Jerome F. Keating Ph.D.

The Olympics are just a few months away, and for those planning on going to the Olympics in China this year, a new wrinkle has appeared to threaten those plans. Enterovirus 71 or EV-71 is spreading across the country. Already present in two provinces, this virus is particularly deadly to children and has already claimed 26 fatalities; overall there are 6,300 total reported cases in the population. One only has to think back a few years to the spread of SARS and remember the irresponsible way it was handled by the Chinese authorities to give one cause for concern.

On other fronts, the Olympic torch is or is not climbing Mount Everest; we are not sure because there is a news blackout there; I guess this torch relay is a private Chinese affair. Reporters are likewise denied entrance into Tibet; the promise for free access of the media must apply only to the weeks of the Olympics and to select venues.

Carrefour remains the store of choice to protest the fact that the French allegedly did not do enough to protect China's honor as the Olympic torch went through that country. Are the Olympics an international event or a Chinese event? Somehow the 24 plus Chinese thugs that were guarding the torch don't qualify for recrimination; they did their job didn't they?

Finally of course in addition to leaving the kids behind, remember when going to the Olympics you had better leave your "Free Tibet" and/or your "I Heart the Falun Gong" T-shirts behind. Something tells me they won't be popular in Beijing this summer.