Canada: It’s catching

Canada: It’s catching
: The SARS panic is about to get out of hand. Conventions in Toronto are canceled (well, OK, if you fear that nobody’s going to come and you’re going to lose a fortune). Kids’ sports games are canceled. Catholic pilgrims are disinvited from a U.S. even. But here’s my favorite: the Washington Post cancels a meeting with Toronto Star execs.

Paul Gallo, manager of the Star’s editorial computer systems, said he received a call “really late” from Post executive John Benner, cancelling the meeting.

“He left a message, sounding really embarrassed and apologizing, to say the tour of the facility couldn’t take place,” Gallo said from Washington yesterday.

Gallo … said Benner told him that he’d been instructed “by his executive editor that the tour wouldn’t be a good idea for liability reasons. He explained that, if anybody at the Post were to get ill after our visit, there’d be liability implications.”

And the National Post sends a reporter to the WHO in Geneva:

The hotel desk clerk quickly stepped two paces back yesterday when I told her I was from Toronto. “SARS,” she blurted, and for a split second she covered her face with her hands. I wasn’t sure if the gesture meant she was embarrassed, or if she was trying to protect herself.

Perhaps she thought that I might infect her. Kill her.

So I asked. “Are you afraid of me?”

“Yes,” she replied.

  • Slutty Mom

  • The worst was the Mayor of Toronto trying to insist that it was the US-CDC that was ‘putting the shame’ on Toronto. Took 2 minutes of prompting to finally, [grudgingly] to sort of admit it was WHO by saying, to a prompting, ‘oh, yeah, them, too’. A junior Chretien!

  • Balbulican

    Actually, the CDC has pretty much cleared TO, and said this morning that Toronto represents no greater health hazard than anywhere else.
    Don’t listen to the Mayor of Toronto. We sure don’t. This is the guy whose most memorable contribution to our cultural life was the installation of 450 life sized fiberglass moose in various downtown locations. I ain’t kidding.

  • Rachel Cohen

    Good, maybe runaway movie production will return to the US. But where will the stars go to evade obsessed fans and pesky reporters?
    Toronto is so smug.

  • ChefGirl

    So when New York was BEGGING us Torontonians to “come back to NYC” because they were hurting after 9/11 we were the ones who weren’t supposed to panic and over-react, and just blindly go to their monetary rescue, right? And yet, we still went there in droves to support them after that tragedy EVEN though we really didn’t know if there was going to be another terrorist attack.
    But now, they’re all so AFRAID of SARS and they can’t come up here for fear they’ll catch something. Even though if anyone even remotely intelligent did some research would find that if they only exercised a very good and frequent hand-washing regimen, everything would be fine. And that the chance of ever contracting SARS is lower than a million other things.
    Typical self-serving American attitudes. I wouldn’t have expected anything less.
    Next time, don’t waste your ad dollars in our newspapers BEGGING us to come see your theatre and eat in your restaurants…we’ll be too busy trying to revive our OWN theatre and restaurant spots!

  • Jeremy

    It’s not just the Mayor of Toronto. Fox News had some Canadian on, and he was ranting about how Americans were afraid and he mentioned JFK’s quote about fear.
    But then the anchor pointed out that the US’s CDC hasn’t done anything, in fact the opposite, but it was the WHO. However, the Canadian didn’t seem to care. They want to blame the US for this hysteria, even though it’s mostly just the WHO and the media. (I’d hate to see how hysterical the media would be about SARS if they weren’t distracted with Iraq)

  • True, the ugly moose were bad (especially compared to Chicago’s cows, which really were works of art), but Mel’s worst moment has to be when he said he was afraid to attend an IOC meeting in Africa because “the natives might cook me in a big pot and eat me.”
    Maybe SARS is a witch doctor’s belated curse on Toronto…

  • Well, Balbulican did say he’d spit in my food if he had the chance.

  • Balbulican

    Matt, you are mistook. I said I never worked in the service in industry.

  • Dark Avenger

    Now, ChefGirl, don’t be all bummed out. We Americans are being good multilateralists and taking the advice of the WHO, which as you must know, has everyone’s best interests at heart. Why can’t you be a good global citizen about the whole thing, and not take it out on New Yorkers?