[thechat] SARS

Tara Cleveland tara at taracleveland.com
Mon Mar 31 08:23:38 CST 2003

Hi all,

Well this isn't a cheery subject, but at least it's not about the war...

Here in Toronto the story about the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome)
has been fighting it out with the war for top headline every day. SARS is
starting to win. I've also noticed it's starting to get some coverage on CNN
and such. I thought I'd just tell y'all what's happening here.

It's actually kinda scary:

* The Ontario government has declared a health emergency.
* They've shut down two hospitals (no new patients, no visitors to anyone
except critical care or palliative care patients).
* Any visitors to those two hospitals since March 16 are under a 10 day
voluntary quarantine (that's thousands of people).
* All other hospitals in the city are in "lock-down" - no outpatient
services, visitors are restricted, masks must be worn, disinfection routines
when you leave etc.
* Nursing homes and jails are following similar rules.
* Tons of events are being cancelled - especially events with children
involved - for fear of SARS.
* There are 70 doctors under quarantine and 5 have fallen ill.
* There are about 100 cases of SARS in the Toronto area, 4 people have died,
there are new cases popping up across the country.
* Surgical masks are flying off the shelves - I'm sure people are going to
start wearing them around the city soon. 3M has apparently had to divert
shipments of masks from across North America to Ontario.

More info here:

On top of all the tension of the war it makes life here in TO extra
stressful. I'm amazed that there were so many people at the demonstration
yesterday. I was sure many people would stay home.

Don't worry I'm not panicking (yet) - but it is a bit sci-fi, "Hot


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