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Pandemics and Preparedness (business IS "for the birds")

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  • Janet Feldman
    Dear Andrius and All, Hello and no holiday for your great ideas, haha! I do like what you propose, and think the concepts are sound and important. How to
    Message 1 of 2 , Mar 1, 2006
      Dear Andrius and All,
      Hello and no holiday for your great ideas, haha! I do like what you propose, and think the concepts are sound and important. How to execute them to reach the greatest numbers is the question. I do think an online store is a great way to do that; however, and this may be what your mom is thinking about, someone does need to "mind the store", ie send the items ordered, et al. There are services that do this (CafePress and others), and that might be one way to go, esp. for developed countries (ie w/folks having more access to ordering, credit cards to pay, easier shipping perhaps).
      For Kenya and developing countries, to have the items made locally/nationally and then disseminated--which links with our literacy and income-generation projects, and also to various aspects of social mapping, empowerment through networking (including ICTs), joint cooperation, and finding one's voice how to get the word out--looks to me like the best approach. 
      One small but interesting note: it's odd that we've begun to talk of how to disseminate information in a "viral" way, but it has become a very effective and instantly understandable use of imagery, so perhaps we can make a play on words and imagery with this, without being insensitive or disrespectful.
      The club/newsletter is one very viable approach, and there are others we can devise too, I'm sure. I'll think more on this and hopefully come up with other suggestions in a few weeks (am going to take a break for a couple weeks in early to mid March).
      On the name, I'm not sure what "holiday" refers to:  do you mean "taking a break" from, a "vacation day", a "pass", so to speak. I think "Pandemic Prep Kit" or something which speaks more directly to the purpose might convey the idea and mission more effectively. Especially if you aim to cover more than the bird flu, ie to address HIV/AIDS and the like. Or "Healthcorps (Emergency Prep Kit)". Or, for something light-hearted yet speaking to deeper motives and emotions: "A Wing and a Prayer" or "Flu is for the Birds" Prep Kit. Then there is the "viral" image: "Spread Information, Not Infection".
      Thanks much to all you birds of a feather, and long may we address these issues of human well-being together!  Yours in flocking fondness, Janet  (striking up the band in Barrington for bird-flu bandannas!!)
      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
      the West!)
      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?


      Andrius Kulikauskas
      Minciu Sodas
      +370 (699) 30003
      Vilnius, Lithuania

    • Lucas Gonzalez Santa Cruz
      Dear Janet and all, At http://www.globalvillages.info/index.php/Blogs/LucasGonzalez (see comments on 2006-02-28 ) Andrius has written he has decided to not
      Message 2 of 2 , Mar 1, 2006
        Dear Janet and all,

        At http://www.globalvillages.info/index.php/Blogs/LucasGonzalez (see
        "comments on 2006-02-28") Andrius has written he has "decided to not
        pursue the 'emergency holiday' idea, but rather to focus on our
        strengths". Which is fine, but of course the idea is already in the
        open so we might work on it if we want to. Maybe a modified idea will
        find its way into reality. I find it has potential, at least as a
        "disruptor" of any previous ideas I might personally have about flu and
        preparedness, so thank you, Andrius!

        I've started this page at the wiki:

        I'm looking at the avian flu news with a Kenyan eye, and I'll write
        whatever I learn at that page.

        I intend to be as practical as I can. My first focus is to:
        (1) "distill" what the official recomendations are regarding prevention
        of avian flu, and then
        (2) find whatever it is that is making it difficult to implement the
        recommendations (lack of money, lack of trust in recomendations, lack of
        other ways to feed themselves, etc), so we may later
        (3) find ways around it (locally useful ways to transmit the best
        available information, complementary currencies, using existing networks
        -- e.g. AIDS, etc).

        The first I can do on my own, but I apreciate our help in all three!
        I'd be specially interested in finding out: who can we link/cothink with?

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