Taipei (Fides Service) – “Here in Taipei the situation with regard to SARS is improving but since it is a mysterious disease which escapes control people are still afraid because they feel defenceless and helpless”, Father Paolo Desandre, a missionary of the Fraternity of St Charles Borromeo was referring to the situation in Taipei, Taiwan where he is stationed. “The unknown generates fear but as Christians our attitude must be different: we know that everything is in the hands of the Lord, every second of time, although of course we must take care and avoid unnecessary risks. The conviction that everything in our life happens for our good makes us truly very different and in peace.”
“The newspapers are full of news about SARS and television newscasts speak of nothing else. But in actual fact what has really shocked me since I have been in Taiwan is another disease about which no one speaks, and which takes many lives every day. In Taipei, and in Taiwan in general, the number of cases of suicide is appalling. During Chinese language lessons, for example, the suicide of a person on the previous day, is often a subject for class discussion as if it were something normal, indeed sometimes some joke about it. This I find truly gruesome. Desperate people who jump off high bridges, teenagers who – so the papers say - decide to die because they fail an exam or their girlfriend or boyfriend has left. Little or nothing is said about these facts which cause more deaths than SARS, except in Tabloids which search for causes to hide the real motive for this sad act: people have never met the Reason for life”. SL (Fides Service 9/6/2003 EM lines 19 Words: 304) .