Telework Or Die! The Flu Pandemic
Bad news from the Florida CIO Council Pandemic Preparedness Committee today. According to the Florida DOACS Pandemic Planning Toolkit,
- “Susceptibility to the pandemic influenza virus will be universal.
- Illness rates will be highest among school aged children (about 40%) and decline with age
- Among working adults, an average of 20% will become ill during a community outbreak
- Per HHS planning guidance, Florida is planning for a severe influenza pandemic similar to 1918, as compared to a moderate pandemic similar to 1957, 1968. Either one could happe.
- Persons who become ill may shed the virus and can transmit infection for up to one day before the onset of illness. Viral shedding and the risk of transmission will be greatest during the first 2 days of illness
- Multiple waves (periods during which community outbreaks occur across the country) of illness could occur with each wave lasting two to three months
- A future influenza pandemic in humans is considered a certainty by the scientific community. When it will happen is entirely uncertain
- In a severe pandemic, absenteeism attributable, to illness, the need to care for ill family members, and fear of infection may reach 40% during the peak weeks of a community outbreak, with lower rates of absenteeism during the weeks before and after the peak.
- Governmental and business planning should include contingencies for worker absenteeism of 20% to 50% during the several-week height of a pandemic wave“
Page 9 of the Planning Toolkit contains a plan for the impact of a pandemic on businesses and government. This includes
- “Train and prepare ancillary workforce (e.g., contractors, employees in other job titles/descriptions, retirees)” (and let’s not forget those dedicated OPS workers!)
- “Establish policies for flexible worksite (e.g., telecommuting) and flexible work hours (e.g., staggered shifts)”
Looks like there could be lots of rapid promotions in the future, like on Omaha Beach on D-Day.