H1N1 flu in my company

There was recently a H1N1 flu case in my company. Immediately it was announced and we had to stop working right away and go to the hospital to do tests to see if any employee was infected. When we went back to the office, we had to disinfect our hands with alcohol at the building entrance, we had to gargle a liquid that tasted like betadine that is supposed to help to kill any virus that could have gotten into our moth/throat and we had to wear a mask. When we entered our office space there was people disinfecting our furniture, computers, telephones, windows and even the walls. We also had some new gadgets in the rooms; the president urgently bought some huge ion generators with a special button that when pressed is supposed to clean the air and kill viruses.

Everybody wearing a mask, smelling like disinfectant and the noise of ion generators on the background; that was the work atmosphere for more than a week until the president lowered the emergency status and we could work again without covering half of our faces.

8 days later the flu virus victim came back to work. As soon as he arrived, before we could even ask him how he was, he bowed to everybody and he told us:

“I am very sorry for having caused you such big inconvenience, trouble, nuisance and for getting you worried.”

Notice that from his perspective, he is NOT a victim, he is the culprit of having caused so much trouble to the company: because he couldn’t work for one week and we had to wear a mask and worry about our health.

h1n1 flu
The head patch was optional, I don’t really know if it’s useful if you are not ill but Yamamoto-san and Yamazaki-san were wearing it during the whole week.

h1n1 flu

h1n1 flu
The gargle liquid

h1n1 flu

h1n1 flu

h1n1 flu
A secretary disinfecting my keyboard.

h1n1 flu
Try to look for somebody without a mask.

h1n1 flu
Washing hands with alcohol.

h1n1 flu
Picture of last year Japan swine flu panic.

10 Comments
  • Ekowc

    November 16, 2009 at 1:57 am

    Yeah, I think I got H1N1 week ago. The fever went away in a few days but I’m still having bad headaches.

  • Gonazar

    November 16, 2009 at 3:50 am

    That’s surprisingly cautious, if it were like that everywhere, this wouldn’t be a pandemic.

  • Sebastian

    November 16, 2009 at 6:53 am

    It’s not that bad here at TokyoTech. A professor told us that there has been 200 infections on our campus, but only about 10% of the people are running around with masks. There are these desinfectants everywhere, though.

  • CS

    November 16, 2009 at 8:30 am

    That’s a little over the top..

    Why does that guy look like a tomato in the first picture?

  • Tornadoes28

    November 16, 2009 at 9:53 am

    That is way over the top. These people are way to paranoid.

  • vm

    November 16, 2009 at 11:43 am

    Had you and your colleagues already gotten then H1N1 vaccine?

    These are amazing precautions. I’d love to know what you gargled.

  • don't have_H1N1

    November 16, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    what’s the head patch supposed to do? soak up your sweat?

  • jamesmallon

    November 16, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    It’s no more lethal than the regular annual flu, for god’s sakes. Statistics do not make good media copy though, do they? Those ‘disinfectants’ are more of a threat on a statistical level.

  • ait_meijin

    November 19, 2009 at 7:25 am

    It’s all about medical corporations making their money. The same as it was with previous bird’s flues. Poor people.

  • Rob

    November 20, 2009 at 12:21 am

    Dumb.
    Those masks have only been ever so slightly proven to keep people from spreading the disease, there is nothing showing that they will keep you from getting the flu or anything else.

    The culture of paranoia, especially pertaining to medical issues, in Japan has always annoyed the hell out of me. As a person with Type 1 (Juvenile Onset) Diabetes, I’ve found it much less of a hassle and social hurdle to just not inform people of my condition, even though it would be prudent to. The retardation of proactive and intelligent thought on these issues through top down decrees like this is absolutely mind numbing.
    I may be a bit hyperbolic in these descriptions but it is disturbing nonetheless.