Strange how they are telling
us that this illness is not airborne
but 88 people in a single apartment building
in China have caught the disease from each other.

Things that make you go hmmm…

March 31. Monday.

The SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) outbreak part 2.

The name itself fails to instill confidence in our health care system. I mean only one of the four words actually means anything at all, they should just have called it RT for Respiratory Thing instead of coming up with a “non-name” for it. I personally think they could have done better than they did anyway, lets say it could have been Significant Oral Respiratory Epidemic Syndrome (SORES) or Contact Associative Respiratory Edema Syndrome (CARES) or even Direct Inhalation Respiratory Episode (DIRE). Anyway, it is very bizarre to be working with a whole hospital full of people in masks, especially knowing other nonessential staff in other facilities are at home, and that there is little work to be done here anyway since we are restricted from going into certain areas. Also, at this point, I don’t see any senior management around…

So we now have 4 dead in Toronto, 2 closed hospitals and several on severely restricted access including, sadly, Toronto’s Sick Kids Hospital. In addition, they are recommending that all hospitals in Toronto restrict access to their patients to one person each and are separating the entrances to staff and visitors.
Below are extracts from today’s papers:

CBC online: On Monday, (China’s) health
authorities imposed a tight quarantine on an apartment building in which 88
new SARS cases were discovered.
Police in white surgical masks used metal barricades and tape to seal the
building where more than 240 residents are barred from leaving for 10 days.

Health workers, also wearing masks, crossed the barricades to treat residents
in the building.

Anyone who leaves the apartment block without official permission can be
fined or jailed, said the country’s director of health.

The Toronto Star: Full
Story popup
Bug could `broaden’: MD
Fourth GTA victim dies; toddler is a suspected case

Canoe News: Full
Story popup
SARS Claims Fourth Canadian Life

The Globe and Mail: B.C.
health officials are also bracing for an influx of Asian students returning
from spring break to Vancouver, a busy port for international travellers from
Asia. A quarantine similar to one in Ontario may be the next step if more
cases are reported.

"We haven’t ruled it out," said deputy provincial health officer
Shawn Peck. "In fact, we’re quite prepared to be more strict in the measures
taken if it seems warranted."

Almost all hospitals in Toronto and the surrounding area have closed their
doors to visitors other than people visiting critically ill patients and very
young children. Visitors who pass through the doors don masks and soak their
hands in antimicrobial mixtures.

"If the matter can wait and can be seen in a doctor’s office, we strongly
advise people to stay out of hospital emergencies," said James Young,
Ontario’s Commissioner of Public Security.

Most hospital doors have been locked, except for one entrance for staff and
another for visitors. And most hospitals have suspended elective surgeries,
outpatient clinics and other non-emergency services, assigning doctors and
nurses from those departments to substitute for the hundreds of health-care
workers in quarantine at home, or in some cases sick in hospital isolation
rooms.

"It’s surreal," said one emergency-room doctor at St. Joseph’s
Health Centre, remarking on the eerie silence in otherwise bustling hospital
corridors.

So we are all sitting around talking about the situation, nobody is working, in fact, it is blatantly obvious that nobody is concerned about doing anything other than following the story and seeing if we are in any immediate danger. It is pretty pathetic really, they should know human nature dictates that the likelihood of anyone actually being productive today is minimal. The managers are trying to control the rumours and gossip and the workers are just trying to keep from working.
I guess it is a normal Monday really…

I am reading about the war while wearing a N95 mask… This is more than a little perturbing even I have to admit.

N-95 stifler