What would we have done if swine flu hit during a regional?

First of all, thank goodness swine flu didnt hit us during the competition season.

but imagine the mess that would create if regionals got canceled or even atlanta?

WWDD (what would dean do?)(we have to get these things produced)


In all seriousness, I assume they would postpone these competitions until the disease passes. FIRST would hold onto the robots until it passes. They would probably give an extra practice day, since the drivers would need more practice because of the postponement.

Well there are several schools who wouldn’t let their teams come to Dallas (and Dallas may be in Texas but it’s not that close to Mexico) for the World Championship today. I can’t wait to see a final count of how many.

umm- we might have gotten sick?

seriously- creating hysteria about the disease is not productive. Being cautious about spreading the germs is. We haven’t had massive deaths in the US due to swine flu yet and the building hysteria is scary.

During the Championships we discovered a fair part of team 25 was in the midst of contracting strep throat (did anyone notice the change in our alliance selection guy). Other kids there in FLL were diagnosed with Chicken Pox.

It seems that there is always some disease that these large crowds manage to develop. Should we shut down the robotics world for that?

If a swine flu pandemic epidemic (which isn’t anything near what we have seen quite yet) hit during FIRST events the robotics would be the least of our worries.

On the some note as Wayne I feel this is a question that should remain unanswered. So what if we find out what would happen? It makes no difference unless the flu spreads for another year. Lets be optimistic and say the CDC will protect us before it gets that far, What we should be doing is taking preventative actions and not panicking.

I heard that we’re supposed to call it “N1H1” instead of “swine flu,” because a lot of people think they can get it from eating pork :smiley:

People these days…

EDIT: It’s actually H1N1…

Wash your hands and don’t touch your face.

Hand sanitizer and antibacterial soaps do not protect against viruses, such as the flu, so they would be pointless against swine flu.

Avoid sick people, and be sure to cover your mouth on all coughing and sneezing.

Throw used tissues away or flush them down a toilet.

Surgical masks are only good if worn properly. There are so many photos and videos in the news of people in Mexico wearing them incorrectly. Most are only covering their mouths, and forgetting their noses, which is just as ineffective as not wearing one at all.

Eating pork has no relation to contracting swine flu.

If you have any symptoms of swine flu, get them checked out right away. The antiviral medications work a lot better when caught early.

Really, as it stands right now the whole swine flu thing has really been blown out of proportion by the sensationalist media. To put swine flu in perspective, regular flu kills 36,000 people every year in the United States. That’s about 98 people per day on average. So far in the United States, the reported symptoms of people with swine flu aren’t that severe, with most just recovering in their homes without the need of any hospital medical attention. And they’ve already found that Tamiflu is effective at treating swine flu, and immunization vaccines are as little as six weeks away.

Be vigilant, but for the sake of humanity don’t panic.

Something like this did happen before actually. I wasn’t part of FIRST then, but my mentors talk about one year at the VCU Regional where a virus went around (Robo-flu? I can’t remember the name now) and the CDC had to announce some measures. Basically, a lot of teams got sick, but I think the competition went on?

EDIT: I remember now! RoboSARS

People don’t understand that urban areas are more likely to get infected than suburban areas and that its not about eating pork or whatnot, its airborne, if you get it, you get it.

Now if only the media could focus on FIRST as their next scapegoat…

:rolleyes: FIRST- its a pandemic in all our schools.

Seriously though, just relax, do the same things you’d always do to prevent yourself from getting sick, like Art said. I was tired of having the bulk of last night’s presidential address talk about this. >.<

N1H1 influenza? I recall reading a fascinating book about the pandemic of 1918, in which many millions of people were killed by a flu strain of that name. The book is really about heroes of science. I highly recommend it.

Direct everyone to www.doihavepigflu.com ::ouch::

That was the norovirus (aka Norwalk virus). Quite contagious, very unpleasant (vomiting, diaherrea, etc.), but not particularly dangerous if you drink plenty of fluids (usual caveats apply - can be dangerous to the already sick, elderly, very young, and so on).

Over 30,000 people in the US alone die of influenza per year. Stop freaking out about this, and go build a robot or something.

I hate fearmongering…

It’s actually H1N1 which is a subtype of the Influenza A virus. This virus is a descendant of the Spanish flu of 1918 that Richard mentioned, it was also an H1N1 subtype. Flu subtypes cover a broad range of different genetic makeups. Viruses with the H1N1 subtype, including descendants of the 1918 Spanish Flu, cause about half of all influenza infections so the connection between the subtypes of the two flus is fairly inconsequential.

The main thing causing people to freak out about this flu is that it is a “novel” flu strain that will allow it to spread even to those who have been vaccinated and who have a built up immunity to other strains. Also a number of the initial cases in Mexico caused death in people not usually killed by influenza (healthy adults). Another factor is confirmed human-to-human transfer. These factors are what lead to the WHO pandemic level changes, the various “state of emergency” declarations, and the widespread media coverage. These "state of emergency declarations are part of a process to prepare resources in case something does happen, they do not indicate that an emergency is imminent.

So far, the vast majority of reported deaths (7 of 8) and all deaths of healthy adults have been in Mexico. There has been one reported death in the United States, a toddler in Texas. Most of the steps being taken by various organizations and governments right now are preventative and/or preparative measures, at this point this virus is not a pandemic, nor has it been proven that it is any more virulent than normal strains of influenza.

The media is definitely over-hyping this issue. A number of media members have already been cited as saying that the media is creating fear because it cause people to tune in.

At this point it is a good idea to keep yourself informed and follow the advice listed above regarding basic, normal disease prevention practices. Getting yourself all worked up or buying into the fear the media is trying to spread does not help anyone.

PS. Those respirators linked by that Do I Have Pig Flu site will do a decent job of limiting the spread from an infected person wearing one by containing the virus from being expelled during coughing or sneezing, but will likely not provide significant protection to the wearer, the most common manner of flu transmission is through touching of the eyes nose and mouth.

I am more concerned about press induced panic than I am about the disease itself.

But to answer the questio of the original poster, FIRST does have some contingency plans in place. They were made during the last “flu panic”. Remember Bird Flu?

While a country-wide ban on large assemblies would certainly put a damper on FIRST competitions, by the time things got to that point people would be concerned about things other than robots.

More likely is that the trucks with the field and other equipment would get caught in a city that is quaranteened. There exist plans for a wood field that can be built in about a day by a small crew of carpenters. Each year they are modified for the current game. So if your event’s truck got stuck, you would have a smaller event with house lighting (unless they could scare up light locally) but the show could still go on.

Oops, you’re right. It’s H1N1, my bad :rolleyes:

I don’t see why this is an issue. Robots are immune to the N1H1 virus. :rolleyes:

The Major concern FIRST has had with this type of pandemic is what effect it would have on teams. If Schools force teams to avoid large gatherings or cancel school/sports/extra curricullar activities (like Texas is doing now), teams might not be able to participate.

In large enough numbers, that could seriously effect FIRST’s finances and might prevent a season from occurring. There are folks who always have that in thier minds. Even though they are a non-profit they have employees, suppliers, and contractors to pay. Missing a season could cause some serious problems for FIRST.

This type of thing falls under disaster planning. The potential impact is in the same category as a major terrorist attack, or significant natural disaster.

just watch out or it will kill ya’

; )

1902 would probably have to change its name, it just doesnt seem appropriate. :wink: (Think Oink! Oink! Achoo!)

In all seriousness, same thing we are doing now, take precautions, don’t panic, and deal with it. There are much worse diseases out in the world that the media haven’t decided to blow out of proportion.