Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Scams to scare

Now the rumours have come to China too:

“BBC announcement: radiation to hit Shanghai. Local authorities are issuing a warning and telling people to stay inside if it rains of if it’s windy outside.”

Text messages like this spread like a bush fire yesterday, causing not only confusion, but also some honest fear. Because what if it’s true?

Some hours later, however, we established that it was a scam.

It was exactly the same when I lived in London in 2001. I landed in London on the very same time as the plane hit the World Trade Centre, namely on September 11. The world, including London, was in shock. As the city slowly returned to normal, people started telling each other of warnings that they had gotten from “anonymous, Taliban looking men.”

-I went to the hairdresser and the guy who did my hair was from Afghanistan and he told me that I seemed like a nice girl and that I should avoid Piccadilly Circus on October 11!!

Do you think we were scared?!

However, when the third person came with a similar, yet somehow different story, it wasn’t that scary anymore.

As for text message scares/rumours in China –I’m not too worried, although I have to admit that a part of me has some concern. Not so much for what’s going to happen, but because you never know if the real information will get out over here, or if it will be censored, in an attempt to keep a “calm, harmonious society.”


조안나 said...

All you have to do is look at a map of the wind patterns of this side of asia. The winds blow west to east. Shanghai is not in any real danger. But, of course, people will always freak out about these things. Now, if there were a country immediately east of Japan I would be more worried...

Yann Le Berre said...

Above comment is absolutely true. A friend who is air pilot told us the same.

Kevin said...

I heard on the news that stores are all out of salt because it is believed that if you ingest sodium it would dilute the affects of radiation.

E said...

@kevin, that rumor is completely false. here is some info.
one of the harmful substances in a nuclear leak accident is radioactive iodine(I131) and it attacks your thyroid glands. now, if you take enough iodine beforehand, it will stick on your thyroid glands and therefore prevent I131 from entering your body.
people stockpile salt because they believe iodized table salt contains iodine. in fact, every 10g of idozied table salt has only 0.3mg of iodine which is far from the suggested dose of 100mg of iodine for an adault for roughly 24hour protection.
the rule of thump is: buy potassium iodine, not salt.

hope this helps.

Unknown said...

In such times, there's always some kind of rumours. Just weigh them 'coz they cause unnecessary panic.