Friday, December 11, 2009

SARS Stock

In the whispy winter months of 2003, fiendish micro-organisms spread from the Guangdong region of China to infect and kill scores of humans around the globe.

The gentle, unassuming denizens of Toronto were some of the most adversely affected by this outbreak. It wasn't so much that we were all dying from the illness, it just so happened that enough people died here to generate a media scare that would take a hockey stick to our tourism industry's knees.

With our hotels and restaurants empty, convention centres unbooked, and attractions going unlooked, the local economy was reeling. A few daring groups of individuals, armed with small budgets and big dreams, put together innovative ad campaigns, but the fear of infection was overpowering, and the ads flopped. It was too little, too soon.

For the crisis was too dire; it couldn't be resolved by the whinging of marketing weenies. No, wordly intervention would prove inadequate in the face of this tourism slump. Our eventual redemption came from on high when the Gods and Demi-gods of Rock descended to the earthly realm to cleanse the city with their righteous hymns.

Legions of fans braved searing heat to attend the event. The performances were astonishing, and the fans were not disappointed. There was likely some sort of surge in hotel and restaurant bookings that coincided with the event.

Hearken, Rock Gods, the people of Toronto salute you!

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