Here are some random thoughts about the outbreak.
I recently read Scott Sigler's, "Contagious," a story about an outbreak of alien spores, which seems appropriate given the current news about the potential for an H1N1 influenza outbreak. (Of course I was also reading it on an Airbus A319 when I encountered a passage about an unfortunate incident impacting an Airbus A319.)
My employer recently banned travel to Mexico. Seems reasonable. I wasn't planning to go, but now I guess I don't have to. Which is good, because I haven't gotten my yearly vat of SPF 96 yet.
They also recomend that employees who are sick take, you know, a sick day. It's seems silly, but apparently at many organization a lot of people still go into work when they are sick. The company wants to discourage that. And with modern technology, telecommuting is a great option for those who have to get stuff done but don't want to go into the office.
And by the way, why are there still so many office workers? We have broad band. We have secrure VPNs. We have cheap phone service and mobile phones. We have web cams. We have instant messaging. We have powerful computers. Why are the streets still flooded with people going to an office every day to type on the computer and talk on the phone? It makes no sense.
In the last few years, we have seen huge problems with traffic -- which telecommuting addresses.
We have seen a huge spike in the cost to get to work through fuel prices -- which telecommuting addresses.
We saw a huge run up in commercial real estate -- which telecommuting addresses.
And now since issues have been mitigated by the slumping economy, how about using telecommuting to reduce costs?
Maybe a pandemic and "social distancing" will finally push telecommuting the mainstream.
Even if telecommuting is just a few days a week, it helps.
"Social Distancing" is another phrase I learned today. In this article on the Capitol Hill Blog, they discuss the measures King County is taking to deal with the potential for a pandemic. Apparently the county updated its plans this past fall. We are currently in Phase 4 of a pandemic. It makes for interesting reading.
And finally, I learned that my brother's alma mater is the epicenter of the NYC swine flu outbreak.
Dr. Richard Besser, acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said of the 40 U.S. cases, only one has been hospitalized, and all have recovered.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Monday 28 cases have been confirmed at St. Francis Preparatory School in Queens. More than 100 students at the school were out with flu-like symptoms last week.
Bloomberg and New York City Health Commissioner Tom Frieden said all of the students who were ill had mild symptoms and none had been hospitalized.
The school is remaining closed through Tuesday.