Monday, February 20, 2006

Proper Corpse Disposal: What you need to know

When you're burying a dead body in your backyard, don't bury it too close to the septic system.

This tip, which sounds like it came from a grisly manual for serial killers, was actually a piece of advice offered at a business conference in Minneappolis last week.

The conference was intended to help businesses cope with the challenges that would surround a bird flu pandemic. The truth is pretty gruesome.

For example, if a pandemic hits on the scale they are worried about it will be up to the average citizen to bury the dead. Hospital morgues will be full, and refrigerated trucks will be needed to deliver food and medical supplies.

Of course in typical fashion for the U.S., the conference was more concerned with teaching business owners how to make sure they survive a pandemic financially. The article points to these wonderful snippets:
Part of the reason for heightened economic concerns is the potential impact a pandemic might have on the heart of the American workforce. While seasonal influenza has a U-shaped curve, which means it is most lethal to the very young and the very old, pandemic influenza might be deadliest for young adults. If H5N1 follows the 1918 strain, it would generate a lethal overreaction in the immune systems of some people it infects. Young adults with hardy immune systems would then be at the greatest risk.
While it seems like a callous way of looking at the situation, perhaps it's the best way to protect ourselves. Right now, should a bird flu epidemic hit, America's wealthiest are going to wall themselves into their compounds until it blows over, for better or for worse. This is why neighborhoods like the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans got the least amount of attention after Katrina; when something only affects the most destitute of our people, it's easy for the upper echelon to ignore it.

However, if you point out that to America's business owners that, should an epidemic hit, they will lose their businesses because none of their employees will show up to work due to illness or fear, then maybe the wealthiest can be counted on to kick in and do something. After all, what's the point of surviving the epidemic if they have no money when it's over?

Link to Reuters story
Link to St. Paul Pioneer Press Story

Link to a site selling body bags, so you can prepare for backyard disposal


Angeline Rose Larimer said...

"When you're burying a dead body in your backyard, don't bury it too close to the septic system."

--Now that's just common sense!

Anonymous said...

I have a great plan. We all drink so much that our immune systems are shot so bad they can't possibly overreact to bird flu. Then we die of liver failure anyway, but at least our brains don't melt and we get to be drunk.

stray_thoughts said...

I've been on that plan for years!

I think that the wealthy might open up their homes to all the needy infected souls...
but I thought that Joey could carry a sit-com on his own...

...guess I'm just an optimist.

Here's to shorter lines at the Secretary of State!

Angeline Rose Larimer said...

Joey could carry his own sitcom!?! How are you feeling, Stray Thoughts? Feeling a little peckish?
*That pun's gonna be so fun when we're all dying horrible deaths.
The nursery rhyme potentials should knock 'Ring Around the Rosie' off the top of the charts.

p.s. U of M needs to give Mike a PhD in Medicine (unless he already has one).

Jennifer said...

I can't believe I missed this post. Where was I in February of 06 for crying out loud?