If I Were a Public Health Officer in a Pandemic
This might actually be a fun exercise to think about. Since a lot of people have strong opinions about how things have been handled. I’ve been thinking about it thru this time. Esp knowing that Theresa Tam has been under fire from the opposition party for her decisions. As have been federal advisors such as Dr Anthony Fauci . They are both known to be experts in their fields, and well reputed, but this is a new virus and they could only go with what they knew about viruses, epidemic behaviours. And they could only work with the govts they had.
In Canada, Justin Trudeau has been cooperating with his experts. Though he has been dogged endlessly by the opposition party and faced actual assassination threats and an attempt.
To be even remotely fair, Trump has the election he can’t postpone to consider. Apparently he’d rather have 100,000s die than lose. So he hasn’t exactly been the most cooperative (to put it mildly).
Anything I say now is based on the past six months watching them. Though tbh my opinions haven’t changed much since the beginning:
first and foremost – Day one i heard about it. The border would be shut down. No traffic at all in, maybe not even out. Not by plane, boat, train, truck, car or bus. Army heading to the border.
Any long routes outside local service shut down. Bus, boat, train, plane as local service providers only.
2nd – public health advisory on warning system as an alert and notice out to major media outlets and posted on govt web site with links to WHO and public health.
wash hands, don’t go into crowds/no public gathering, only go out for essentials, any caregiving done with shield masks (baths, mouthcare), self-monitor your symptoms
3rd – arrange in country food redirection and necessary supplies
4th – isolate care centers
staff – 1 facility workers,
bldg – have a disaster plan that includes segregation of the ill, staff and patients/residents, allow only immediate family rep (alt decision maker) in a separate area from bedrooms or outside
day cares – open to essential service parents. Create pods where kids (groups of 4-5 travel with one aide all day) and stagger time/travels and rooms.
5th – large businesses closed/no indoors traffic allowed. (exceptions’ list) Businesses that have occupancy of max ten can remain open, but no incentive purchase-sales allowed.
Restaurants can do take out/delivery or curbside pickup. And closed during rush hour. Encourage re-usable, washable pkging.
Banks can do tellers, but all officers by remote appts.
Schools – create pods where 1/2 doz kids travel together and stagger entrances, rooms, breaks/lunches and arrival/departure times. Meals in pods. Have a senior student program where they become teachers’ aides. They are the pod caretakers. Teachers either by remote or on mike. Home-study program for parents who would prefer that, without truancy penalties.
essential list is food, pharmacy, home, vehicle maintenance, seeds/plantlings, pet supplies
6th – workers to remote/web commuting. Secure the ISPs essential cooperation with rates, maintenance, for all and availability to people with health and disability issues at low cost.
911 workers essential connections and staff.
7th – mayors to arrange food security with local farms. Mayors to arrange production of PPE for first responders, and essential workers.
8th local care providers to arrange ‘check ins’ with patients/clients by web or phone. And arrange food/drug delivery, esp for people who have no vehicles.
Would there be a come-back or reintegration plan?
Bigger industries who could show they can stagger time/shifts of essential site staff and create pods where staff interact with only immediate needed people for task/service/support.
Customers redirected to web site or phone. No customers or clients in worker areas. Have a separate reception area, with a shield over the desk to take inquiries. With a computer so they can connect with staff needed.
The only traffic thru the bldg would be cleaning, maintenance, tech services and security who have face shields on.
For religious groups… pods for intimate prayer chains and mental health support. Services and counselling by remote.
… this’d be the new long term vision for big businesses.
Work with band councils on supply and segregation of the reserve.
Homeless support groups – redirect to empty hotels/motels and arrange food and medicine delivery and supervised detox. Check ins for ‘wanderers’.
war act to fabricate masks for essential workers (face shields pref) and ventilators/ ICU monitor equip.
mobile homes for testing, tracking and observe community cases at major hospitals.
country’s scientists and labs redirected to this virus, it’s study, treatment, and prevention.
ISPs and a govt agency tasked with tech support/helping anyone who needs to modify to remote – carecenters, religions, essential businesses and artist/tourism outlets given priority.
Person priority to single parents and disabled.
Given incentives to switch to remote.
Decisions about reintegrating citizens to this country made on case per. Priority given to those with ill/dying relatives. Parents of young/disabled children next.
From a safe(r) country only.
…. BUT in fairness,
This was me on my own, not having to jockey for power and influence.