Hi Janet, Samwel, Henry and all,
I spoke this weekend with Lucas and had a thought about a business
possibility related to preparation for a bird flu pandemic. We want to
be able to work more in this strategic area and so I am thinking how to
be self-sustaining, and where appropriate, profit-generating.
We want to help get the word out about basic steps that people can take:
* learning to cough in their elbow
* disinfecting keyboards
* wearing "bird flu bandannas" to cover one's mouth (like the cowboys in
We also want to help steer resources to encourage people in Africa,
China and everywhere to worry about poultry hygiene (especially where
poultry, pigs and people mix). And we want to encourage people to talk
seriously with others about helping each other. Each person should have
at least one "Flu buddy" who would be able and willing to care for them
during a flu pandemic if there is nowhere to go for treatment.
Treatment (as described in Grattan Woodson, M.D.s The Bird Flu
Preparedness Planner) is rather simple: Make sure that the patient gets
plenty of fluids. The patient will possibly be weak to do that
themselves, and may need somebody to drip the fluid into their mouth, a
drop at a time, if there is no other way. Of course, there is some risk
of catching the flu. So there is a need for good friendships, I imagine
small clusters (like a family and close friends) who may stay at home or
may leave for a more remote area but will keep to themselves as a group.
I imagine that it would be helpful to have a business brand (perhaps
Emergency Holiday) which we could point to for a variety of small
projects including getting out information, selling items to get the
word out (like bird flu bandannas or elbow bands that say "I cough
here"), recommending emergency equipment (like water filters), providing
do-it-yourself information. And also supporting "solidarity projects"
like working with poultry farmers in Kenya and elsewhere (help myself in
the developed world and help others in the developing world, too). All
of this could be organized for other crises, too, (including HIV/AIDS,
floods, peak oil, terrorism, etc.)
I asked my mother for advice and she said it's best to steer away from
the responsibilities of an online shop. Instead, she said a membership
club might be a better idea. I imagine that for about $10 a month
people could get a monthly newsletter by email and related items,
perhaps every other month, and know that part of their money is going
for emergency preparation in the developing world. There could be
different membership levels. This would be a way for us to get our
messages out regarding community currency, global villages, leadership
development, holistic helping and more.
Janet, Samwel, would this be a sensible direction?
Also, I'm curious what you think of the brand Emergency Holiday. Franz
thought that it was inappropriate, too happy. He thought that
"emergency retreat" or "flu retreat" would be more appropriate. Yet I
feel that it is good to take a positive approach, especially in the face
of terrible possibilities. I may be very wrong. What do we suggest?
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