The Calming Voice During the SARS Storm

Bereavement In April I wrote about SARS, five years later. The spring of 2003 was a frightening one for me. My son was only a year old and in daycare and there was so much we didn't know about this near pandemic that was taking lives in this city.

My wife, a worrier by nature, was particularly scared during this time. Every night we'd turn on the television and look for updates delivered by Toronto's chief medical officer of health, Dr. Sheela Basrur.

Dr. Sheela Basrur was our calm voice during a difficult time in this city. She spoke clearly, giving instructions and updating us in a comforting fashion that always made us feel better. We understood who should be quarantined and why, what measures were being taken to contain the outbreak and where it was safe to go. She seemed trustworthy and caring and she guided us through the SARS storm.

Yesterday, we lost Dr. Sheela Basrur far too early to a rare form of cancer. Dr. Sheela Basrur, thank you.

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Mike, you make Dr. Basrur sound like Winston Churchill during the blitz.

Yeah, she was a calming voice only for people who were completely freaked by the Toronto Sun's pictures of women in facemasks in Beijing.

SARS was and remains an event in Toronto history as overhyped and played by the politicians as the Mississauga Train derailment of 1979.

RIP Dr. Basrur but get a freaking grip on how she calmed us during a "crisis" that existed only in less than one percent of the GTA demographic.

June 3, 2008 @ 4:21 PM

Toronto Mike

Stafford, even when you're belittling my sincere sentiment in supreme SOB fashion, I'm impressed. It's like getting roasted by Rickles.

June 3, 2008 @ 4:54 PM

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