Hmmmm…. What to think?

[livevideo id=8BC92CF8473C46AE980E461980C994AA]PANIC!!!

Just received an email via the gov’t email system from the department I work for. Occupational Health Advisory – H1N1 Virus // Avis relatif à la santé au travail – virus H1N1″

As usual, it is in French first with a notation that English follows.

The French version has two long charts. The first (Section 1) has two scenarios. The first for “civil servants residing at Mexico (or in other areas touched by the respiratory disease caused by the flu virus H1N1)”, which is then subdivided into two sections for those whose work does not come into contact with the public and for those whose work puts them in direct contact with the public. Those both have 5 rather lengthy points of instruction.

Section 2 is for civil servant who travel to Mexico to work (or in other areas touched by the respiratory disease caused by the flu virus H1N1. Again, that is subdivided into instructions for those on Assignment with or without a supervisor (I think. The Google translation was rather odd), and those traveling on business of short duration. Those both have the same sort of lengthy list of procedures.

The English version has the same preamble about the virus, its cause, and the travel advisory recommendations outlined by Health Canada.

This is followed by a single chart, the only instruction of which is “7. Get annual influenza inoculation”.

I fell a little like “Bob” in “Lost in Translation” when the director of the Suntory ad that he is doing explains rather lengthily what he wants Bob to emote and the translator says “He says he want you to look at camera with more intensity.”…

Okay, okay… I know it was a mistake. Obviously, when whoever sent out the directive, they didn’t copy it all out but you would think that something of this importance, they would ensure the whole thing was sent out. Wouldn’t you?

It makes me thing of the time during the SARS epidemic they sent out an Interdepartmental directive that there was no need to panic and that anyone returning from China or the Far East, would be carefully checked out before returning to the workplace. There was no need to isolate them or (basically) treat them like the had come into contact with the plague. All employees returning from countries of concern were to be treated with discretion and with an eye to privacy and respect.

Almost immediately, there was a “reply all” from a certain executive secretary from a certain office VERY high up on the chain asking “What about [naming a certain employee] who has been in China for the last XX number of weeks. “Should she be quarantined until they were sure she was not ‘infected’ with the virus or should she be ordered to remain home?”

Obviously, this person did not actually READ the directive and didn’t know any better than to do a “reply all”. Everyone in the entire ministry, several thousand employees and contractors, received this “reply all” email and knew that a certain employee was returning from China.

So far, there has been no “reply all”, this time.


1 Comment

  1. Anna said,

    May 4, 2009 at 8:20 am

    I understand that you got confused!

    Why would they send e-mails like that?
    I have respond to your tag ‘8 things meme’ now! 🙂

    Take care! 🙂
    Anna / Vita Stunder

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