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typodupeerror
• #### Re: (Score:2)

Luckily I'm a small shop, so when one of my guys is sick, I tell them to go home and not to come back until they're feeling well. If they don't have sick leave, I'll cover it to keep the office healthy. Then again, I'm not on much of a critical path for human services (Oh my god, who's going to design that building if we're not around!). I can afford to lose one of my employees for a week - losing the whole staff would put a crimp in the company finances (to put it mildly).
• #### Re: (Score:2)

showing up for work puts you at some risk, especially if you use public transportation or enter a public area like a store, say to pay for gas
Whew, good thing I live in NJ, where we're not allowed to pump our own gas and therefore almost no stores have inside-the-store payment capability. It's nice to know that come the flupocalypse, NJ's air (especially around the gas stations) will be among the most disease-free of any state.

/snicker

• #### Preparation isn't a waste of time (Score:5, Interesting)

on Wednesday August 29, 2007 @01:50PM (#20401327)
I work for a Very Large Charitable Organization in facilities construction, and our group has gotten involved in some of the pandemic flu planning. There are some truly frightening scenarios out there, from "Really Bad Flu Season", through "1918, Part II", to TEOTWAWKI.

The part where some of it hit home for me was when a coworker, who is our resident disaster junkie/survivalist, came back from his first panflu planning meeting. Normally he comes back from meetings grumbling that no one is taking a problem seriously. This time he was concerned that he himself hadn't been taking it seriously enough, and I've been to his bunker site!

Currently in Indonesia the mortality rate for bird flu cases is around 50%, and they are starting to see human to human transmission. If the lethality of the virus survives the mutation to a strain more transmissible between humans, one can assume that it will infect about 25% of the world populace - that was 1918 numbers, it will probably be more now with easy international travel and higher density in the cities.

So, if you sit in a pod of 8 cubicles, here's the breakdown (1918 transmissibility, current lethality)

1 of you is permanently disabled, or out for months of recovery

So now your workforce is reduced by 25% - oh, wait, 2 of you will also be out caring for sick loved ones, so that's half gone. And medical personnel are basically gone - they have been exposed multiple times and are either dead, sick, or not going to work because they don't want to become either (btw, that's not my projection, that's from the CDC).

Vaccine? Indonesia is not giving samples to international health authorities, for fears that any vaccine developed will be too expensive for them to afford (not a paranoid assumption)

Conclusion: Go buy some N95 masks and gloves (both cheap) and just pay a little attention. Neitehr will go to waste - use the gloves for working on cars and the masks for wood shop. And just pay attention.
• #### Re: (Score:2)

So now your workforce is reduced by 25% - oh, wait, 2 of you will also be out caring for sick loved ones, so that's half gone

Meh. Your math is off, since those sets intersect.

If 25% get infected, and 25% need to care for sick loved ones, you're talking about 43.75% reduction in workforce, not 50%.

Doomsayer. Way to blow it out of proportion with your fuzzy maths and your nice round numbers.

Seriously, though, 25% or 50% reduction in workforce, it doesn't matter -- the economy will be crippled. Don't f

• #### Re: (Score:2)

If 25% get infected, and 25% need to care for sick loved ones, you're talking about 43.75% reduction in workforce, not 50%.

If you're talking about something that nasty. the overlap between the two sets will be smaller than expected. Namely, the sick will be unlikely to have the energy to care for others. In some of the 1918 stories (as I recall, of course), there are cases where entire households became bedridden and they only survived because of help from a neighbor. As I recall, in the book, "The Plag

• #### Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

"Although anthrax spores and smallpox aren't paint chips, the masks do provide protection against bioterrorism, since the most likely used bacterium would be dispersed in particle form, Utgoff says. In fact, the anthrax mail attacks first spotlighted the N95, as office mailrooms scurried for protective gear.

The N95 is made by various manufacturers under different names, from MSA's "Affinity Foldable Respirator" to 3M's "Particulate Respirator." Look for "NIOSH N95" on the pac
• #### Face masks are a waste of time (Score:4, Informative)

on Wednesday August 29, 2007 @06:30PM (#20405279)
Most flu infections are not transmitted by breathing in airborne virus particles.
The commonest route of flu infection is actually

• by touching shared surfaces such as door handles, toilets, items of furniture, coins and notes, doors, windows and seats especially those in taxis and other forms of public transportation, and

• by not washing and disinfecting your hands afterwards before touching things that go in your mouth such as food, drink containers, toothbrushes, etc.

This is how most people get infected, and N95 face masks offer no protection against this.

Surfaces, especially damp or wet ones, easily become contaminated whenever a flu-infected person touches them or coughes or sneezes droplets of infected saliva or mucus onto them. Touching a flu-virus-contaminated surface is a very effective method of infecting yourself. It delivers a relatively massive dose of virus particles, several orders of magnitude more than by breathing contaminated air without wearing a face mask. Flu virus is extremely infectious by ingestion.

It is not true that flu is usually transmitted by airborne virus particles and that N95 face masks protect you against flu infection.

One of the countermeasures for a flu pandemic that is being considered is compulsory quarantine of infected people to prevent them coughing and sneezing their infected mucus and saliva onto public surfaces that would infect other people.

• #### Just in tie for 911 (Score:2)

"The U.S. Government is co-sponsoring a three-week exercise that will simulate..."

I really don't trust our government doing simulations anymore.
• #### Why are you assuming people are going to work? (Score:4, Insightful)

on Wednesday August 29, 2007 @02:28PM (#20401961)
I originally posted some of this as a reply to someone else, but I've seen so many folks posting things under the same assumption that I wanted to make a more generalized response.

Who, in their right mind, seeing 1/3 of the population dieing around them, in their houses, etc, is going to be going to work? Hospital workers will be dead. Military folks are not going to respond to being called-back, and frankly the close living quarters of the military is the best for spreading it around the force.

Folks, picture this. Your next door neighbor dies. The next day, co-workers start dieing. Are you going to go back to work?

Why are these "simulations" so naive that they believe folks will continue to work, rather than staying with their families? I'm not exactly and end-of-days kind of guys, but the folks on here discussing people telecommuting to work are insane. If half the people in the country are going to be dieing or caring for dieing folks, people aren't going to be worrying about how many strawberries are picked, cows are slaughtered, cars are made, or stocks are traded.
• #### Re: (Score:2)

Folks, picture this. Your next door neighbor dies. The next day, co-workers start dieing. Are you going to go back to work?

Because of the time delay. You'll be symptom-free for a day or two after the initial infection and your doomed coworkers won't die for several more days. Are you really likely to figure out that this is the next pandemic flu before your coworkers expose you to it?

• #### Re: (Score:2)

If people we're so attached civilization wouldn't exist. Someone has to do the job, especially if its vital to society.
• #### Agree: all will stay home. See SARS in Toronto (Score:2)

When SARS struck Hong Kong, the effect in Toronto (Ontario) was considerable, as there is a significant population that travels between Hong Kong and Toronto. All the streets were dead, and you wouldn't see anyone walking the usually crowded downtown streets. (Well, there were a few, but a tiny fraction of the number.) Retail business drooped, and in fact some Chinese places (especially restaurants) went belly-up due to lack of income.

The majority of these people who stayed home weren't having symptoms.
• #### Re: (Score:2)

Who, in their right mind, seeing 1/3 of the population dieing around them, in their houses, etc, is going to be going to work?

Actually - it's the people who don't go back to work are not in their right minds. No matter what happens, if I don't have that paycheck I don't have a house, car, or food.

Military folks are not going to respond to being called-back, and frankly the close living quarters of the military is the best for spreading it around the force.

Military folks are not going to r

• #### Knock on effects (Score:2)

One of the major problems in these types of simulation are that no knock on effects are simulated. The assumption is made that people will continue to come into work and will indeed work to someone else's plan. In reality people will look after themselves and their family, which will mean closing the door and staying at home. Work will be unimportant; who would seriously take that degree of risk for a meagre salary.

At our rough calculations the transition from business as usual to total shutdown will take

• #### The Stand (Score:2, Funny)

I'm not worried. I'm certain that I am immune to Captain Trips. Which city I end up going to, is another matter entirely.
• #### Re: (Score:2)

Let's see: Vegas or Denver? Humm... a tough decision!
• #### Why financial services? (Score:2)

If a real flu pandemic came I'd be a lot more worried about water, electricity/gas and food than how my stocks are doing. Have they already done these simulations or are we getting more like the Golgafrinchams?
• #### Wait...you're a little sideways, here... (Score:2)

It doesn't so much simulate a flu panic, as much as it simulates a **PANIC**.

Like at the end of the DotComBoom, the recent housing(lending) problem, and any other panic situations. Panic is panic; those involved will always operate the same way: based on fear, not facts.

• #### Sick and dying people... (Score:2)

Oh yeah, what will the companies do when people don't show up to work? Oh woe are those businesses. I feel so bad for them. That should be our first concern when people are sick and dying. Banks making money is obviously more important than people getting sick and dying. Pricks.
• #### Another good reason for telecommuting (Score:2)

If not for the obvious social benefits, cost reduction, or for employee satisfaction, pandemic preparedness is a good enough reason to permit telecommuting wherever practical. In the event it's necessary, only those who telecommute already will be at 100% productivity. The rest will not have developed the necessary work habits or adapted to the different communication strategies needed to successfully telecommute. They also may not have the resources they need in place at home, and depending on how bad thin

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