I just heard a report, on NPR’s Marketplace, on SARS. The reporter introducing the story mentioned that, last year, SARS caused commerce in Beijing to come to a halt for two months. While obviously something of an overstatement, I’m sure there’s much truth to this remark. But it causes me to wonder: how does SARS compare with Chairman Mao and his gang at the sport of bringing commerce to a halt? I’ll bet that MAO dried up far more commerce than SARS ever will.