Signs Along the Way: A Field Report at T - 98greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
The department managers at the mental health clinic where I work had their second y2k discussion Thursday. (In April, they decided that in October they would come out with some kind of letter giving some general advice and information.) If power goes down, we close, along with many other satellites of the main hospital. Our generator will run the lights awhile, but not the heat. Well have a security guard and crisis worker on duty to direct people to appropriate agencies, hospitals, or shelters. We wont schedule appointments earlier than 10 a.m. on Monday, January 3. Well have a number for workers to call to see where they have been assigned; our inpatient branch may be overwhelmed. Patients will be given a number to call to see if were open, and none of them will need a prescription filled during the first week of January. That was pretty much it. The head of Crisis Intervention would call the county to see where the shelters would be located so we could inform out patients. There you have it. The whole enchilada. I was stunned and sickened most of the day. Went home to retrieve all the notes I had made on what we could reasonably do to help our patients. (Thanks to all of you who contributed ideas and resources!) Gave them to the Director today.
Today the Crisis guy says the county EMA told him that yes, they would have thirty or forty shelters, but they wouldnt be releasing the locations until the end of December. (So, here it is, T-98 and counting, and they dont know whether they have thirty or forty shelters. Why name a number at all? Lets see the countys population is 186,000divided by, ok, 40, is 4,650.BWAHaaHaaaaaa! Thats a good one!) Nobody thinks to question the wisdom of secrecy. Its how its been decided things will be done.
We called the countys mental health agency (They partially fund us.) to ask whether we should put out a letter recommending that our patients have a few jugs of water and some extra food" on hand. They said, Y2K? Oh, yeah. I suppose we should think about that now.
On the other hand, I read a letter to the clinic from one of the Biggie pharmaceutical manufacturers. All remediation and testing of our critical systems is complete and were just so doggone confident in our whole supply chain, no problem. If you want extra drugs, well, relax. We are shipping extra inventory to all our fully compliant distribution centers. You can prepare an order right now for shipment the first week of January in case you run into problems on your end then, although we believe thats unlikely. Well hold it for you, and you can request delivery any time after December 31. Operators will be standing by on New Years Day, and on Sunday, too, just to give you peace of mind. Now THERES an ingenious protocol!
And theres good news on the Community Awareness front, too. Local bank is going to host a Y2K Seminar, featuring representatives from Bell Atlantic, some security company, Social Security, the local power distribution company, on a Friday morning, at the local country club. I talked to the coordinator and asked if they might hold a seminar at a time and place more accessible to the working citizenry, but alas the Club is booked on weekends and in the evenings, you understand. Uh-huh. Sure enough do.
But a neighborhood group is going to meet at a local college on the 30th to talk about how they can help each other out. Theres hope. Theres still some hope, for some.
And the board of directors of a local church met with me about putting on a workshop for their parishioners. Nice, computer-using, middle class group. Think of themselves as GIs. Put out a thorough preparedness guide for the church, nice cover letter saying folks should make up their own mind and offering resources. Seminar cant happen, though, until the 21st of October because we wouldnt want to displace any of the regular groups. Its only a pending potential catastrophe, after all.
But the kicker of the week was definitely the ad in my latest copy of Signals (From the Public Broadcasting folks) for a heather gray sweatshirt that says Y2K Complacent. Oughta sell a lot of those babies. Seems to have the general sentiment nailed. Email me for ordering info, polly pals. Nothing in it for me.
What a ride. What a ride.
Just thought Id send a little report from the field.
Love you, every one.
-- Faith Weaver (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 24, 1999
Thanks for the report...Love you, too...
-- Uncle Bob (UNCLB0B@Y2KOK.ORG), September 24, 1999.
I thought you could use one of those right now.
-- Chris (#$%^&@pond.com), September 24, 1999.
Man, oh man!
Simultaneous realities, huh? Or not.
Faith, my town just mailed out a nifty little glossy newsletter with a Y2K = A-OK graphic of a cat sitting at a computer terminal. Read a couple paragraphs, groaned, and went for a walk.
If I get ambitious, I'll retype the local "newz" for ya'll tomorrow. (Tidbits from Silly Valley, CA).
-- Diane J. Squire (email@example.com), September 24, 1999.
Faith Weaver wrote: "Lets see the countys population is 186,000divided by, ok, 40, is 4,650.BWAHaaHaaaaaa! Thats a good one!"
Don't be surprised, Faith. I got hold of a copy of our county's Emergency Response Manual early this Spring. We are a county of 30,000 people in Central Virginia. According to the report, in the case of a nuclear attack and the evacuation of Fairfax County, pop something like 800,000, we were supposed to house 51,000 fellow Virginians in our one high school and two middle schools. Right. Even if you add the six elementary schools, that's over 5000 people per school. Right. No single community in this country is prepared for a large scale disaster. That's the sad truth.
-- Kurt Ayau (Ayau@iwinet.com), September 24, 1999.
One enterprise that can't help being successful after the rollover is portable outhouse rental. All these schools and gymnasiums stuffed with 3 people per square yard of floor space will need a lot of 'em.
-- Tom Carey (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 25, 1999.
You should see the local Y2k brochure that a local state senator is handing out to small business in the area. It's full of mistakes and is the worst piece of junk I've read...and these are going to business in the area!
Can you imagine the chaos that will occur here in LA/Orange County?
Whoa boy...interesting times.
-- Michael Taylor (email@example.com), September 25, 1999.
As of yesterday's mailing of the Ithaca Journal containing a 25 page insert on y2k, Ithaca New York's total infrastructure is 100% compliant from top to bottom (and apparently I was voted mayor yesterday also.)
-- Dave (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 25, 1999.