25th January 2015

I got a phone call in the middle of the night last night from a doctor at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.  Phone calls in the middle of the night are scary at the best of times, then when the person on the other end tells you they’re a doctor…

I knew it was going to be about Ethan and the Southwark Riots.

The doctor told me that Ethan was fine, he had sustained a couple of lacerations and one above his eye had required stitches.  He was particularly lucky the one above his eye was not more serious.  He also suffered a serious knock to the head so they were keeping him in for observation, but he should be able to go home tomorrow.

I’m glad they couldn’t get hold of Mum and Dad, they would have been beside themselves.

I was too alert to go back to sleep after the call so I got up and made myself a cup of tea to calm my nerves.  I decided to read about the riots.  Instead there was breaking news of a flight from Casablanca to New York.

“Earlier today a plane on route from Casablanca to New York encountered severe turbulence.  Consequently inducing vomiting in dozens of passengers, including 2 (of 3) MSF volunteers returning to the U.S. from Liberia.  Neither of the turbulence affected MSF volunteers showed signs of a fever.  However as a precautionary measure and in accordance with strict CDC guidelines the pilot immediately notified the CDC.  Two air stewards then donned personal protective equipment including face mask, gloves and apron before moving the MSF volunteers to seats in air crew rest area.  

Passengers witnessing the removal of the volunteers immediately suspected Ebola and messaged friends and family using the flight’s internet connection.  All three MSF volunteers were quarantined on arrival at JFK.  All other passengers have been interviewed to capture detailed contact information.  Passengers interviewed as they departed the Casablanca to NY flight have expressed their fear of infection.”

“And in related news there are now reports that airline stocks have dropped 15% in final hour of trading.”

Wow, things are really starting to heat up, I wonder what’s next?

I really must get back to sleep though if I am going to be functional at work in a few hours.

5th January 2015

Back at work today.  People were a little surprised to see me. I guess that is to be expected given that I was supposed to be in Greece : /

I have not been able to get the Ebola numbers I read yesterday out of my head and I am more than a little anxious about it.  The speed at which a virus can spread is frightening.

Then to add fuel to the fire I watched ‘Contagion’.

What was I thinking!!

I talked to one of the senior execs at work today and he was very interested in the economic consequences.  I don’t think anyone has really done any research into it.   And nor had I, not really.  I’m still amazed that the virus could have gone undetected for such a long time.

I’ve been asked to do more research into 3 areas; the cost of aid; the potential loss of revenue (and new costs) for Australian companies; and the cost of global disruption.  The cost to our company could be enormous.  I have to have the first part ready to present by the end of the week.  That is going to mean some long nights.  Lucky I didn’t go on holiday.

I might need to talk to that guy Richard in IT and get him to help me set up some graphic models using the data to really make an impact.