2014 journal article
Transnational Quarantine Rhetorics: Public Mobilization in SARS and in H1N1 Flu
Journal of Medical Humanities, 35(2), 191–210.
This essay examines how Chinese governments, local communities, and overseas Chinese in North America responded to the perceived health risks of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and H1N1 flu through the use of public and participatory rhetoric about risk and quarantines. Focusing on modes of security and quarantine practices, I examine how globalization and the social crises surrounding SARS and H1N1 flu operated to regulate differently certain bodies and areas. I identify three types of quarantines (mandatory, voluntary, and coerced) and conduct a transnational comparative analysis to investigate the relationships among quarantines, rhetoric, and public communication. I argue that health authorities must openly acknowledge the legitimacy of public input and actively seek public support regarding health crises. Only by collaborating with concerned communities and citizens and by providing careful guidance for public participation can health institutions ensure the efficacy of quarantine orders during emerging epidemics.