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Swine Flu Archive
Earlier this morning, President Obama declared the H1N1 (swine flu) outbreak a national emergency. Many people I speak to in my travels have mentioned that they have changed the way they interact in public — especially on trains, buses and other public transportation.
But what about how we use public technology? Last week I spent some time in a public Internet cafe in Manhattan and watched many people use the terminals and keyboards. In just under an hour, four people sneezed or coughed with their hands over their mouths and then continued to use the keyboard and mouse for the balance of their session.
The CDC notes regarding how the swine flu spreads, “Spread of 2009 H1N1 virus is thought to occur in the same way that seasonal flu spreads. Flu viruses are spread mainly from person to person through coughing or sneezing by people with influenza. Sometimes people may become infected by touching something – such as a surface or object – with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose.”
At my startup, we’ve changed some policies around how we handle incoming packages and cards. Although I haven’t started to carry flu-cleaning wipes to clean off any computer surfaces I use in public. Should establishments that provide public technology be responsible for cleanliness just like food establishments are? For example, should a bank be required to clean their ATM touch screens a certain times per day?
Have you changed anything in your procedures with regards to how you use public technology? ATM machines? Internet cafes? Other touchscreen devices? Leave your thoughts in the comments.