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Stay Safe From The H1N1 Mexican Swine Flu: Confronting A Pandemic's Social Upheavals

Updated on April 29, 2009

If you are really ready for the big business opportunities and can play with the big boys, consider chartering a cruise ship. Operate it in a similar way to the flu-free oasis hotel. Test everyone coming onboard, stack it to the top of the holds with food, fuel and water and then set off to sea until the pandemic passes. Don't pull into any ports, just cruise around in calm seas until it's over. Your net from an enterprise such as this could easily top $20 million.

If you think your way through the pandemic, you might find that your business might actually profit from it!

What if the pandemic gets out of control and all hell starts breaking loose in your city, with looters and rioters running rampant and willing to kill for a course of antiviral? You may think that unlikely, but riots of similar magnitude have been sparked by far less provocation. The 1965 Watts riots that burned for six days and destroyed over 600 Los Angeles buildings were initiated by a routine police traffic stop. Another six day riot in the same city in 1992 that destroyed twice as many buildings was triggered by a court verdict on a mere assault charge. I was living in Los Angeles during those riots seventeen years ago and I can assure you that it was as if some magical hand had suddenly lifted the lid to a Pandora's Box of madness and it ran rampant throughout most of the southcentral part of the city. It came suddenly and with little warning. For a brief while, it seemed as if it would soon enflame the entire region of 15 million people.

Before we conclude that rioting is a particular characteristic of a single Los Angeles neighbourhood, consider the Battle In Seattle, the Toledo Riots, or the continuing civil unrest in Northern Ireland or France: All of them at a high cost in property damage and injuries.

I may be a lightning rod for these types of activities although I have never participated in one. How else to explain that I happened to be in Venezuela during the April, 2002 abortive coup and the resultant rioting that cost the lives of many demonstrators? Just (un)lucky, I guess!

If this unimaginable social catastrophe begins to take shape, the prospect of your protection of your facility, assets and workforce may be severely diminished.

Depending on your business you may not be doing anything anyway as it may be well nigh impossible to deliver goods and you can be certain that customers will not be showing up, but there may be some ways that you can help your employees to survive. Pool everyone's resources. Have way more food, water and supplies on hand than you think you would ever require. Calculate how much food and water everyone will need in order to get through the expected time period that the pandemic is expected to be active in your geographical and try to stock 50% more.

Work out some way of keeping some energy generation going. If you have equipment generators, rewire them to provide light and heat. Set up lookouts and constant security routes to ensure that the facility is not compromised at any time.

Understand that if the social structures of your area start collapsing there is really not too much that you can do to completely assure the safety of your workers and the continuity of your business in this eventuality. You can be assured that your business will be looted, thus liquidate everything you can, try to squirrel away the valuables offsite and kiss your facility goodbye. Concentrate on your own survival and that of your family. Your employees will have to fend for themselves. Try to keep your business' liquidated worth in something that has lasting and absolute value, perhaps a hidden cistern of heating fuel, or an underground cavern full of tinned food.

Remember that even this viral apocalypse will be over sooner or later and if you are still alive and healthy you have a phenomenal advantage over those who didn't think ahead and prepare like you.

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    • Hal Licino profile imageAUTHOR

      Hal Licino 

      10 years ago from Toronto

      Yes, it seems that the spread is galloping along quite well but the mortality rate is (fortunately) extremely low. As we go into the Northern Hemisphere's winter and the traditional flu season it will be very interesting to keep a close eye on the morbidity of this virus as it could rise considerably, or then again, it could just maintain its very low level.

    • jymsym profile image


      10 years ago from Manchester, Uk

      Hmm. A very interesting analysis. In the UK the numbers being infected are still quite low, however, experts expect a spike in the autumn in which case we can probably expect massive numbers of victims. However, it does seem that the virus is not as virulent here in the UK as it was in Mexico. We've had one death and although young that person was already unwell.


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