Oct 3, 2009

Going through the motions

As most people know, the Chinese government screwed up their handling of SARS back in 2002 by not sharing information. To make themselves look better this time around with the so-called Pig Virus, H1N1, they've implemented rigorous measures to protect their citizens.

I've documented some of these measures, which I observed recently while attending a wedding banquet at a Beijing hotel. I think that the safety measures at this hotel can be considered representative of how the H1N1 preparedness situation is being handled throughout China. It can be summarized in the title of this post, "going through the motions".

Here's a fancy, color sign telling everyone about the great care the Chinese government is taking to protect the citizenry. What a swell group of leaders. If I were a citizen, I'd vote for them next election. They take care of us so well.

To the right of the large color sign, the hotel has set up an infrared temperature scanner. Guests are supposed to walk through the set up as they enter the lobby of the hotel. The scanner is being manned by — you guessed it — exactly no one. Not to mention, there are doors on either side of this entrance with no scanners in place, so you don't even have to walk through this one. The scanner is for appearances only.

I was curious about the infrared technology they were using. I stood behind the read-out of the temperature scanner as guests passed under it and into the hotel. No matter who went through the scanner, it read a consistent 34.0 °C (93.2°F).

Job well done, Chinese government. Looks like we're all safe. No need to worry about the Pig Virus today. We're all stable at 93.2°F, clearly in the normal range.


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