In India, the H1N1 epidemic continues with it being twice as bad here as in the rest of the world with the infection being viciously rampant in my city-Pune . Almost all the deaths due to the flu occurred in Pune. To date we have a death a day, total toll from August 2009, when the first death occurred, being 82.Considering that Pune has a population of approximately 50 lacs which is spread over an area of 450 sq.kms, it was a difficult task to control the flu; and while city schools and colleges were shut down, commercial establishments and offices continued to function and deal with the epidemic any which way they could.
This post is inspired by an interesting post on the legal and workplace implications of H1N1 which went on to speak of the challenges faced by employers in dealing with swine flu and how to deal with them.
The article referred above spoke of the legal affects of swine flu and how to deal with it in the workplace. Here's a tongue-in-cheek, albeit very truthful look at what we did in office to combat the infection:
1. For a week or so everyone came in with masks. A few wrapped their faces in scarves. This however, made communication impossible and so the masks and scarves came to be gradually discarded during the course of the day.(Pic courtesy @devakishor on Twitter)
2. Anyone with a cold refused to attend work. Sometimes even someone who sneezed more than thrice pleaded social responsibility and went home.
3. At regular intervals the air conditioning was turned off and windows and doors opened to let in sunlight and fresh air which hopefully would destroy any lurking germs.
4. Someone heard that eucalyptus oil helped prevent H1N1 and one 50 ml bottle of oil was brought in by the office, which was rapidly emptied by the end of the same day and never replaced.
5. The drug store opposite made a few thousands selling eucalyptus oil tablets, to which I, who anyway had a predilection for the oil, have now got addicted to.
6. The only pregnant staffer was segregated but whether it was as a precaution against swine flu or because she no longer fit into the cubicle, I am not very sure.
7. After a while everyone decided what the hell, if it was going to happen it would happen and stopped all pretense at precautions.
TO BE NOTED is that almost everyone in the office at some point suffered from sore throats, cold sand cough during this period. This includes me who never gets a cold. This is in itself unusual. My theory is that everyone must have suffered a mild form of swine flu and recovered which means we all are now immune.