H1N1 and the flu—that’s all I’ve been hearing lately! To ensure that Festival Foods is fully prepared, we’ve been gathering information and holding discussions for several months now. Initially, we were all asking “What would happen if…” Then we realized that the biggest “what if” would be if any of our associates could not come to work.
After an extensive amount of discussion, we determined that out best course of action is to educate our associates on ways to stay healthy. We also realized that to reduce the chance of spreading the flu, any affected associates would need to stay home as long as necessary. Lastly, we determined that we would need to request that our associates get H1N1 and/or common flu inoculations, if possible (we cannot mandate flu shots).
In protecting ourselves against the flu, it’s important to keep in mind that most flu strains are spread through droplets infection. Sneezing and coughing spread droplets that contain the virus. Basic health rules apply here as we all need to be aware and to cover our mouths when coughing or sneezing, or to cough into a sleeve. Most importantly, hands should be washed often.
Next, after determining that associates with H1N1 would have to stay home, we had to figure out how long they needed to stay home. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention Center recommends seven days. Wow, so how do we enforce that? Not necessarily an easy thing to do but it helps to keep others from becoming ill.
What we know about preparing for the possibility of H1N1 affecting our associates is that we have to plan carefully, and that’s what we’re working on now. Here are some good ideas that we’ve come across so far:
Get plenty of sleep!
Don’t drink too much alcohol.
Avoid stress where possible.
Avoid contact with people who have H1N1
Discuss your concerns with your medical professional.