More Words About SARS

It seems there has been pretty universal condemnation, from the streets of Toronto, to health care workers, to City Hall, to Queen's Park and even Ottawa, of the World Health Organization's advisory against travel to Toronto.

It has awakened the leadership, at least. Some people were complaining about the invisibility of Eves, Chretien and Lastman over the past few weeks, but I think they were letting the health professionals handle the affair in their own way. When an external issue came along that they could sink their political teeth into, however...

But I tend to agree with the critics. When the U.S. Centre for Disease Control says that the World Health Organization overreacted, I think that lends a bit of credence to the anger. The last case of SARS appearing in the community in Toronto occurred a week ago. The disease is, at present, contained within the health care system in Toronto, and there are encouraging signs that the epidemic in Toronto may have peaked.

So, it's a bad news/good news kind of day, and perhaps we should be focusing on the good news. After all, the good news is, patients are recovering from this disease, and not as many people are contracting it. Through the hard work of our health care personnel, a lot of people have avoided getting sick.

Isn't that a nicer, more important thing to focus on than the tens of millions of dollars that are being lost as a result of the economic fallout of this? With time and money, we can rebuild a tourist industry. We can't rebuild people.

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