Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Hong Kong School Closings :: Shades of Pandemic Flu Meetings Conclusions..

Running to catch MATS, but wanted to toss this one out there (albeit very quickly without much Time for fine tuning).......

Hong Kong closes schools as flu surges..
By Theresa Tang and Kyunghee Park; Bloomberg News; Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Hong Kong will close all kindergartens and primary schools for two weeks after the death of three children admitted to hospital with what the city's government today called influenza-like symptoms.

Brought back fond memories of a very long Saturday a couple of years back when, purely by a slip of Fate, I attended the Atlanta installation of the Public Engagement Pilot Project on Pandemic Influenza.. Rather than reinvent the cyber wheel, below is a post I based on that wonderful exposure and left over at the People First of Georgia listserv a while back..

**Please, please, please: The following is not meant to alarm or distress but to inform and instigate our thought processes further on the survival of our people when we will need to rely on each other the most..

The Seed: End of last year, I participated in the Atlanta pandemic flu community forum sponsored in large part by CDC.. Small workgroups of individuals from all walks of Life were given scenarios then told to bring in each their own Life experiences to show what would and would not occur, work, etc, based on what the CDC and related professionals predict as reasonable to anticipate as entirely possible during a pandemic flu outbreak..

Personal opinion of privacy as it applies to disability-specific public "database(s)", whether or not phone banks and email would even be available for communication (would they be shut down to, say, stem off rumor mills?), and our nation's current overall mental health system's (in)ability to handle the PTSD aftershock for *everyone involved* were my particular focuses of feedback that day.. Well, that and that, without programs such as Meals on Wheels, which would very likely be shut down during a [pandemic flu disaster], some untold number of our vulnerable population would not have access to food, period..

One major, MAJOR factor during the pandemic flu discussions was that, in contrast to other disaster scenarios, direct human-to-human contact would (understandably) be removed to stem off disease spread for the safety of all.. Home health care, food delivery programs, any other home delivery and service programs imaginable that persons with disabilities rely on for full inclusion in their communities, those feasibly could, would be cut off completely.. Six weeks or more of massive halts to everything, territorially being from regional to nationwide, was given as a speculatory anticipated duration..

Simultaneously to our conscious planning for survival during future times of natural disaster due to the elements, now is the time to also be thinking, "How would we replace Life-sustaining door-to-door services when they are shut down completely due to a [pandemic flu outbreak] so our people don't die because others are literally afraid to reach out to each other for fear of loss of their own Lives due to the genuine threat of disease..?"

Please again, this is not meant to be anything more than to put it out there because it is something that needs to be a part of our considerations as we continue to strive towards full community inclusion for All today, elsewise there (theoretically) wouldn't even be forums such as the one I attended that Saturday not too long ago..

PS.. If anyone there had never heard of CILs before that Saturday, as many as humanly possible knew of them by the time we wrapped.. ;)

More later, fer shur, but, for now we need to be forever thinking forward to our independence such as is possible, along with healthy alternatives that mitigate as closely as possible in consideration of that, one Day, some Day will be the Reality of what Hong Kong is facing this very moment in Time..

Warmest cyber hugs from North Georgia..

No comments: