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Monday, February 13, 2012

Contagion? NZ Flu was a good fire drill

This weekend while perusing my twitter feed, I ran across stories of a strange flu-outbreak on a flight to New Zealand. I immediately found it strange that a bunch of people on the same plane broke out with symptoms and was, to be honest, a bit concerned that some new strain of flu could potentially be breaking free from SE Asia. Probably didn't help that I recently watched Contagion. But the NZ authorities took measures immediately to quarantine the flight. I still thought about the upstream issues (the departure airport, local area there, flights elsewhere from there, etc). But if all of these sypmtomatic folks broke out over the course of a flight, people would know quickly if they had the disease and be more easily quarantined. So news was slim and time was ticking...
Whew! Concerns Overblown! Now the kiwis say they went overboard but to err on the side of caution. This bothers me a bit and here's why. They did what they SHOULD HAVE DONE! You don't decide that you're overreacting to an event that has explosive potential during the event. You knock the everliving bejesus out of it (Mississippi for attack it really hard) and then address that in the after action report. Some worry that the public will be desensitized to the reaction by this overreaction. I say keep it coming, we need all the practice (with little impact) that we can get when something that ends up being relatively harmless happens.

You play like you practice and I'm proud of NZ for playing pretty well (even though they didn't know it was a scrimmage). I'm glad everyone is OK but this really drives home that we should all be ready to take action in the event that something like a pandemic breaks on our shores.

Here's another article from The Sydney Morning Herald

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