There are a few memories of the 2003 Toronto SARS epidemic that still stick out clearly for me. One was a little Chinese lady I would see on the 95 York Mills bus every afternoon in her surgical mask, she being the only person I noticed during that whole two or three month stretch actually wearing one of the things. Another was walking down Spadina and listening to the Chinese restuarants play English messages concerning their strict hygenic standards instead of the usual erhu music.
A third was Toronto's chief medical officer Dr. Sheela Basrur, who in many ways led the city through the epidemic. She was on radio and tv almost every day during that time, and her calm manner and determination to bring the epidemic under control made her as close a thing to a hero as the crisis produced.
Unfortunately, The Star reported today that Dr. Bashrur has been forced to step down from her current post as Ontario's chief medical officer to fight off hemangiopericytoma, a very rare form of cancer.
Here is wishing Ms. Bashrur a swift and full recovery.