Just to clarify in case ground zero of a killer plague seemed like a good place for a baby.
There were SARS patients in that hospital, but there was no chance of seeing them. Patients were cloistered away from society and kept like prisoners. Walking the city, I saw whole buildings shut down, cordoned off because there was a hidden outbreak in their walls. It was terrifying. We left home as little as possible. We didn't see friends, and certainly never went anywhere crowded in public. You were to wash your hands often and carry hand sanitizer in your purse. Stay away from hospitals, if possible. Pay attention to the rumor mill. Don't eat poultry. Don't get food delivered to your door -- it's the perfect vehicle for germs.
It seemed like the end of the world.
But time passed, the number of new cases fell, and over time, the fear lessened. Through it all, my dad kept going to work. As he tells me now: "There comes a point where you have to say "Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, you may have 8,000 cases worldwide and no cure, but dammit if I'm not getting to work on time."
Kevin Lee/Stringer/Getty Images
Eventually it's worth the risk just to get that s**t off your face and lead a normal life.
In June 2003, we took another trip to the hospital so my mother could give birth. We asked if we should be concerned about delivering a child at Ground Zero.
"Oh no," the nurse said cheerfully. "That's all winding down. We have no more SARS patients."
Then she followed up with "Everyone on the seventh and eighth floor is dead."
Ryan Menezes is an editor and interviewer here at Cracked. Follow him on Twitter for bits cut from this article and other stuff no one should see.
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