Influenza A (H1N1) And The I-Café
The scenario inside a i-café during peak hours is very much like that of a school classroom or even more congested sometime. Customers, mostly of school age, are seated side by side and converse with each other especially if they are playing the same game. Some people stand behind those seated and also talk with those using the computers.
It is the physical contact and being together in a confined place especially air-conditioned areas where the same air circulates that our people are advised to avoid as much as possible. This is exactly a scene that our health authorities say could cause influenza A (H1N1) to spread fast. A distance of six (6) feet from one another is is believed to be the precaution that must be observed for people to be safe when someone they have been with was found positive of the virus.
The first case of a student found positive of A (H1N1) virus caused the school to close for a number days equivalent to the quarantine period for the disease. While this precaution could really help the campaign to prevent the spread of the disease, the negative effect to children’s education would still be there aside from the fear of catching the dreaded disease.
To prevent the spread of influenza A (H1N1), frequent washing of hands with soap and water is advised. I wonder how many among the cafés nowadays have the facilities to have their customers wash their hands before and after they use the computers. We must take note that the keyboards are the most likely medium where the virus could be transferred from one customer to another. How sanitized are your keyboards before a customer sit and use them? Do you clean them again after customers logged out and new customers log-in?
Another step that must be taken to prevent the spread of influenza A (H1N1) is to trace all the people that came in contact with a patient found positive of the virus. It should be easy for the schools to do so because they have a roster of names of their students. What do we have in a café? While you or your shop tender may know the regular customers of your café, how will you know when did they last play or use your computers? Who were they with in those days? These are important data needed when one of your customers got sick with influenza A (H1N1). Knowing who were with him in your café will help in tracing or identifying the persons who may also get the virus.
I remember the time when we were negotiating for the provisions of our local ordinance regarding truancy. Our local legislators wanted the café to maintain a logbook of the daily time-in time-out of customers in order to check if some students of minor age entered the establishment instead of going to school. The café owners objected and the provision was deleted from the ordinance. The customers’ logbook, whether manually or digitally done, would have serve the purpose of tracing the would-be influenza A (H1N1) patients. How would like to implement something similar before the situation becomes pandemic?