APAC—Top 10 Stories of Decade

By: The Diplomat

7. SARSNovember 2002 – July 2003

image: Eneas De Troya

SARS, bird flu, swine flu…this was a decade of killer global viruses, which are rapidly becoming the preferred scenario of global snuff writers everywhere. SARS was the first, emerging from the south of China in late 2002. Short for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, SARS saw rapid transmission and a high mortality rate (9.6%), with no effective treatment for victims, who initially suffer flu-like symptoms. SARS is now contained, bird flu is still relatively rare, and the swine flu outbreak of 2009 was not as severe as first feared, but health authorities worry about new outbreaks, with many eyes again on East Asia as a possible source. As the source of SARS, China was roundly criticized by the international community for its delays in reporting the outbreak, hindering initial efforts to contain the spread. China later apologized and received a lesson in the impossibility of cover-ups on such a scale in an age of globalization. There were tentative signs later in the decade that Beijing may have learned something, if some of the Chinese media reporting on the Sichuan earthquake of 2008 is any guide. Why, China even unblocked access to The Diplomat website in 2009, surely heralding an era of great openness and exchange. Or maybe not.

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Comments
Vlad January 12, 2010

You are jumping the gun. The first decade of this century ends December 31st 2010.

Don January 14, 2010

Ah, but you wouldn’t consider 1990 to be apart of the 80s, would you?
There was no year “0″, yes, so one may be tempted to say that we do have a year until the “00s” are up. However, seeing as a decade can arbitrarily be any stretch of ten years, it ultimately boils down to personal preference (notwithstanding the fact that we haven’t officially entered the 201st decade). So, yes, we haven’t technically made it into the next decade. But, once again, I wouldn’t consider 1990 to be apart of the 80s. And so, as far as I, and possibly most people, care, we have entered the “10s”, and left the “00s.”

Ashley Gavin January 15, 2010

I don’t see how neither the war in Iraq nor 911 made it to this list…

Xilantro January 15, 2010

Vlad is right – what’s the difference, though? Living in the strikingly stupid and un-democratic US, the 99-year century was no surprise, and moving decades up one for the new millenium makes as much sense as having the electoral college install the wrong guy in the presidency because Fox news announced his victory before votes were counted (that would be Bush) or calling the slaughter of 1m Iraqis a ‘war’ – Welcome to idiocracy! ;-)

Joe January 16, 2010

The 9/11 attack is, without a doubt, the most important event of this decade.

Robin January 16, 2010

Ashley/Joe- Actually, I think this story is called APAC: Top 10 Stories of the Decade for a reason. APAC. It is only concerned with the Asia-Pacific region which would exclude both New York and Iraq.

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