Readers respond

From the inbox: No shoe-borne SARS, and no academic police state, thank you.

The Editor(info@the-scientist.com)
Apr 13, 2003

To The Editor:

I was taken aback by Dr. Lee's ill-informed suggestion (see letter below main story) that shoes may have had a role in transmitting SARS. This theory is, at best, completely far-fetched, and merely illustrates Dr. Lee's lack of understanding of Asian cultures aside from his own. I cannot speak for China and Hong Kong, but I can reassure Dr. Lee that Singaporeans do indeed remove their shoes before entering their homes. The vast majority of Singaporeans are of Chinese descent and share a common ancestry with Dr. Lee and his Taiwanese countrymen. I believe that the practice of removing one's shoes on entering one's residence is embedded within Chinese, Japanese and Korean societies and that it is very likely that the populations of Hong Kong and China would share the same custom.

Before Dr. Lee proceeds any further with his theory, might I suggest that he familiarize...

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