Corona Virus, general conversation

bob91yj

Adventurist
Founding Member
#1
So help me here...Italy just went on lock down for "non-essential" work/travel. I'm old/grouchy and don't always think things all the way through...I've gave this one an honest 5 minutes of mental gymnastics.

When I was in the Navy, we all knew who "essential personnel" were... I was an MM1 at the time (engine room supervisor), this was in the '80's, I got tracked down at home, by Shore Patrol, while on leave, to get hauled back to the boat, the carrier Independence (CV-62), and get her out to sea to ride out a hurricane. They didn't bother dragging in the Disbursing Clerks, Personnel Men...find the deck apes, engineering, and get underway.

Bear with me here, I tend to ramble at times...back to Italy...just who are "essential personnel"? Lets consider a load of gasoline...going to need the truck driver, the mechanic that got the truck ready, the folks at the supple depot...yada, yada, yada...all the way down to the minimum wage "security guy" that opens the damn gate...a break down in any of those links, and the whole system is screwed... just to get a tank of gas in your car. As near as I can figure, Italy shut down the government and teachers/professors.
 

richard310

Adventurist
Moderator
Author
#2
I'm out-of-country right now as "essential" personnel... And the project we're tasked with has been limited to assembly team and program manager only. Enough to get the project completed. Everyone else "non-essential" to the build aspect from other companies and teams have been restricted. (Sales, operations, management, etc)

The bare minimum to keep a semblence of continuity IMO..
 
#3
Italy jas been reported as the hardest hit European country, so not surprising. Meanwhile my local Costco is out of TP and the two flights I took yesterday were 50% capacity without official restrictions. Noticably more reaction than Ebola a few years ago.
 
#4
In the private sector "Essential Personnel" is a legal term used so that if individuals contract the virus and then decide they should be able to sue their employer the lawyers have something to work with.

My company restricted everything except "essential business travel" by "essential personnel". I have 5 flights in the next 3 weeks but still have no idea if I'm "essential". :D

It's hard to cut through all the media noise with the Corona virus. One source will tell you we're looking at a future very akin to season one of The Walking Dead, while another plays it off as a flu outbreak. The CDC has been my primary source of information when trying to make decisions about travel and how to approach this. It seems to me that unless you're considered immunodeficient in some way you're probably safe even if you do come down with it. Most individuals recover from it after a week or so with rest and proper care.

The disruption it's caused in supply lines is hopefully a wake up call for many industries about how fragile many of our systems are, and how dependent we are on China. Borrowing from your example Bob, there are plenty of minimum wage security guards not there to open the gate at the moment.
 

Greg

Adventurist
Senior Staff
#5
One of my sources.
https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/hea...ronavirus/coronavirus-disease-2019-vs-the-flu

In my younger days while working landscaping the entire crew would often work in restaurants during the off-season to supplement our income. Having worked in restaurants I'd avoid eating out. I showed up plenty of times sick and just worked through it. You've got minimum wage employees with no sick leave and managers who will fire your butt for calling in and saying you can't make it. A 14 day self isolation? Yeah. Right. Might as well call in and say you quit.

The zombie zombie apocalypse won't start at some secret government facility. It'll start at your local McDonald's with some min-wager serving up zombie burgers :lol
 
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#6
One of my sources.
https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/hea...ronavirus/coronavirus-disease-2019-vs-the-flu

In my younger days while working landscaping the entire crew would often work in restaurants during the off-season to supplement our income. Having worked in restaurants I'd avoid eating out. I showed up plenty of times sick and just worked through it. You've got minimum wage employees with no sick leave and managers who will fire your butt for calling in and saying you can't make it. A 14 day self isolation? Yeah. Right. Might as well call in and say you quit.

The zombie zombie apocalypse won't start at some secret government facility. It'll start at your local McDonald's with some min-wager serving up zombie burgers :lol
I worked in grocery stores for many years. No food is really safe to eat. :D You'd be amazed to know the things that go on in the meat cooler at your local grocer.
 
#7
Many people here have dogs. A few are probably intelligent enough to prefer cats, as I do. :)

In the event you end up staying home and self-treating yourself for this, here's what the CDC says about our faithful companions:

Limit contact with pets & animals:

You should restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19, just like you would around other people. Although there have not been reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus.

When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick. If you are sick with COVID-19, avoid contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets and wear a face mask. See COVID-19 and Animals for more information.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html#2019-nCoV-and-animals
 
#9
Bear with me here, I tend to ramble at times...back to Italy...just who are "essential personnel"? As near as I can figure, Italy shut down the government and teachers/professors.
I would say whoever is required in continued operations. This is usually in their "Runbook" binder filed under the Continuity of Operations bookshelf. Most businesses and all major Gov'ts have these in place usually written by contractors who care $500/hr. The irony is they subcontract it to interns to do the work a lot of the time. They pay them 60-120k depending on what school and engineering degree they've taken.

As for shutting down the gov't. It's more like anyone who can work from home, work from home. Whoever needs to be in place to keep the offices open must do that. Bars close at 6pm, no sporting events, no jail visits or inmate releases (if they're not infected already, this is probably safer anyway). For those who've been to Italy, we all know they don't eat dinner until 10ish, so 6pm closing of the bars would be a drastic measure. I mean what are they going to do after work for 5 hours?:D

Noticably more reaction than Ebola a few years ago.
COVID-19 is much more virulent. Ebola isn't airborne like COVID-19, meaning someone could cough and it stays suspended in air or lands further away and stays infectious. But yes, hardest hit, nearly 10,000 infected, over 450 dead (mostly old and high risk category).

I showed up plenty of times sick and just worked through it. You've got minimum wage employees with no sick leave and managers who will fire your butt for calling in and saying you can't make it. A 14 day self isolation? Yeah. Right. Might as well call in and say you quit.
I'm actually not upset about sick people handling some of my food. As long as you don't put dirty fingers into my corned beef hash after it's been cooked. But I have seen food fall off a plate during plating and then bare fingers re-plate it.

Though, if it's piping hot soup like a bowl of pho, it's ladled out while simmering at 185f. Stick your fingers inside, and they'll cook too. :panic:D


I worked in grocery stores for many years. No food is really safe to eat. :D You'd be amazed to know the things that go on in the meat cooler at your local grocer.
You mean like meats hitting the floor right on top of that patch of black mold? Just BBQ it up! :bbq
 
#11
Read this morning that Harvard is kicking all students off campus for the rest of the year and going to virtual classrooms. My company has banned all international travel and domestic travel must be approved by the division president only. That's a global order.
 

Greg

Adventurist
Senior Staff
#13
Though, if it's piping hot soup like a bowl of pho, it's ladled out while simmering at 185f. Stick your fingers inside, and they'll cook too.
The dishwasher handling all the plates and utensils you eat off of and the glasses you drink out of after they've been through the washer. Stacking plates for storage and near the line cooks. Stacking glasses for the wait staff. The cooks handling the plate before the food is plated. The wait staff handling it after the food is plated. The wait staff filling and refilling glasses. Also the wait staff rolling up the utensils in the cloth napkins.

Number one rule. Fingers never touch the food. But. They just touch everything else the customers touches. Including the utensils that you put in your mouth. Plus they touch everything other customers have touched. How many times have you seen wait staff move from table to table refilling glasses?

:D
 
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#14
The dishwasher handling all the plates and utensils you eat off of and the glasses you drink out of after they've been through the washer. Stacking plates for storage and near the line cooks. Stacking glasses for the wait staff. The cooks handling the plate before the food is plated. The wait staff handling it after the food is plated. The wait staff filling and refilling glasses. Also the wait staff rolling up the utensils in the cloth napkins.

Number one rule. Fingers never touch the food. But. They just touch everything else the customers touches. Including the utensils that you put in your mouth. Plus they touch everything other customers have touched. How many times have you seen wait staff move from table to table refilling glasses?

:D
I usually go to the restaurants before the rush or after the rush. Before the rush, the plates are usually cleaner and still hot from the hot water washer. For all the places I go to, the dishwashers use gloves handling the stuff, but they wash their hands in water anyway by habit because their gloves are wet inside anyway.

And at sushi restaurants, fingers not in the food doesn't count. But they are constantly washing their hands so that doesn't matter.

The biggest issue I've had in terms of food poisoning is always fast food because they don't handle any plates and the food is very "automated" in terms of process so they stay at their stations longer.

Sit down restaurants, the staff I've observed usually take their time and wash there hands a lot because they're handling the food and don't want flavors to transfer between dishes. You might see old school folks at asian restaurants picking their nose, or coughing, but you'll rarely get sick from the food. Once you fry stuff in the wok, everything's dead. lol.

You'll hardly ever get a completely clean plate of food, but mitigating risk where it's realistic is my goal.
 

Greg

Adventurist
Senior Staff
#15
If I wanted an easy day I'd work dishes instead of line cook. Gloves were worn when you preparing the plates before going into the dishwasher. Didn't wear gloves all the time because if you bumped the wrong part of the commercial steam dishwasher you'd melt them. Handling them right out of the washer was also a PITA. You could easily burn yourself if plates were needed and you couldn't let them cool. There was also sanitizer in the dishwasher too. Cleanliness usually not an issue and an easy mindless routine. As a line cook food was kept well above the minimum hot holding temperature of 130 degrees and if you weren't preparing a meal you were cleaning your station.

That's the ideal. Then you get idiots.

The reality is wondering why there's no dishes coming in and you know a second wave of the dinner rush is starting. Then catching someone who's been busing tables stacking the dirty plates and glasses in with the clean ones. Then wondering how long they've been doing that and how many dirty dishes went out before you caught the idiot.

As a prep cook one of the things I'd do is make sauces in bulk. Five gallon buckets of the stuff. The buckets then go into the walk-in refrigerator uncovered. That's necessary because you then need to stir them regularly to get the temperature down quickly. Cover them and forget about them and bacteria can begin to grow....

haha, hey man, it's easy to work up a sweat.
It's guess it's the house special sauce now.
 
#20
my wife Sally has been in the medical field for over 46 yrs, she never seen such craziness in the public re-action on this Corona Virus were hoarding supplies & irresponsible actions when simple common sense majors can be taken..... wash your hands, don't touch your face, cough in the elbow joint & stay home if sick. She also notice the price hikes on medical supplies by vendors to these facilities on certain items. She was telling me that ordering supplies has jumped up ten folds over to the point of having enough stock on hand because of shortages.
The medical facility she works at they closed off all but 3 entrances to get in. At these 3 entrances is a team of monitors take every ones temperatures & asking questions: employees, doctors, visitors, sales rep's. Any one with a temperature 99.9 is turned away & reassessed. The ones who ain't sick or have no temperature get a pass\badge to enter. The surrounding communities are in praise of this action taken by this campus. Personally IMO the media hipe on this Corona Virus is fear mongering & politically based for ratings.
 
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