Archive for the 'blackberry' Category


The Peter Pan of the Pandemic Flu at the river of de Nile

I’m in the middle of writing a course on how to plan and prepare for the Pandemic Flu.  Not your usual soft-skill course on self-esteem,  leadership, or team-building.  Pretty sobering stuff.  Brings you down to brass tacks.   No doubt about it, there could be great suffering–not just for the people in Pakistan, the Congo, or Louisiana, but for people who almost have their mortgage paid, who raised great kids, who never smoked, drank, or did drugs.  The 1918 Pandemic Flu attacked a group of people that the experts couldn’t predict:  the young adults in their 20’s and 30’s.  Apparently, their immune system was too good and over-reacted almost like an autoimmune disease.  More soldiers died from the flu than in battle.

We literally cannot imagine this happening in our blackberry world, so we don’t.  If we start to get an inkling, we hide it under our pillows where it might come into our dreams.  The only way we can handle it is to deny it.  We all live at that river in Egypt called de Nile.  It’s a subconscious safety mechanism that many Westerners still have.  Death is not the default for them at the river of de Nile.  Peter Pan takes us to Never-Never Land where terrible things Never happen.  It makes us naive and childish–that’s how others from the world view us when we are not looking.

“How can bad things happen to good people!”  “Where is God; there can’t be a God!”  Tantrums start with otherwise intelligent, educated, professional people.  There is no vaccine; there is no magic bullet.  No matter how good your diet is, how much you exercise and do yoga, how much you disinfect and clean things that don’t need to be cleaned—you are still vulnerable; we all are.

To be realistic, we can’t face this head-on.  We just don’t have the capacity.  But just turn your head a little each day, and take deep breaths–you know how to do that from your yoga classes.  You can start taking one foot in front of the other and leave Never-Never land.  Say goodbye to de Nile.

If you are a Westerner, especially an American, your first reaction will be, “So what can I do?  Let’s be pro-active.”  (Are they still saying pro-active?).  Well, actually there are things you can do.  Many things. I’m not giving websites here.  If you’ve gotten this far, you know how to google.  (My spell-check doesn’t recognize google?)  But basically, it comes down to what made America great.  It’s the best team-building exercise to raise leaders.  You need take your hands away from the keyboard; get up from your chair, and look outside the window–you know which one I mean.  Those people who live in the apartments or houses next to you can save your life.  If you don’t know how to communicate with them now, you won’t be able to in a crisis when you’ll wish your blackberry was the fruit.  You might want to keep some of those things called books, because they don’t need electricity to entertain you or to take you to another world, and you might really need that when you are stuck in your house because the government has called for quarantine or “social distancing.”  Are you googling yet?  Because I’m not going to give you this on a silver platter, only the silver lining.

Think of John Lennon’s song, Imagine.  Now put your own words to it, something like this:

Imagine there’s no power

no electricity or running water

imagine there are no shops open

or petrol to run my car

Imagine all the people…