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You’ve got mail: U of T professor among 95-year-old’s many COVID-19 pen pals

(photo by Michael Hanson via Getty Images)

An empty mailbox is a sad sight. But for Stan Smurthwaite, that hasn’t been much of a problem lately. 

The 95-year-old resident of Elmira, Ont. has been deluged with letters from coast to coast since he wrote a letter to Maclean’s last spring describing the joy he gets from opening mail.

“Even bills means someone is thinking of me!” he wrote.

Smaro Kamboureli, a professor in the University of Toronto’s department of English in the Faculty of Arts & Science, was one of many to write to Smurthwaite. 

“It was in the middle of the lockdown in Toronto and I was profoundly aware of what it means to be completely isolated,” she told Maclean’s. “I wanted to reach out to an elderly man and say: ‘You matter. I can hear your voice.’” 

Read more at Maclean’s

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January 15, 2021