Of all the silly ways people are reacting to SARS, the Taipei City Government's response has got to be the silliest. On Sunday, Bonnie and I went swimming at the Taipei City Zhongshan Fitness Center. We showered before entering the pool area (as responsible pool patrons) and were stopped by a lifeguard. Apparently, the powers that be have declared that all patrons must first sit in the sauna for a minimum of three minutes before entering the pool.
Now, I doubt that sitting in a sauna actually does anything to kill the virus. I mean, if you're infected, the virus is already living happily inside your body, and any changes to surface body temperature won't have any effect. Further, sitting in a sauna (or hot tub or steam room, for that matter) just raises your blood pressure, which depending on your health, would raise the possibility of passing out during subsequent exercise--not a good thing when you're in the water. So the lifeguards were really just setting themselves up for the increased likelihood of having to make rescues.
Demand has also increased for antibacterial soaps. Folks, SARS is a virus, not a bacteria. Antibacterial soaps aren't effective, and just encourages the development of antibacterial-resistant bacteria.