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I’m seeing these things everywhere. Well, okay, maybe not everywhere. But I have seen lots of these in both Fairbanks and Anchorage.

Is this a coincidence?


This is a hand-sanitizer, with instructions on how to cough safely.



  1. #1 mpb
    June 28, 2007

    Actually, Alaska is very far behind in preparedness, especially when one considers it was supposed to be the frontlines in the fight against “bird flu”.

    In 1996 I was pushing for us in rural communities to experiment with this new goo, “Purell” as an adjunct to sanitation. (In 1997 I was pushing ADEC to consider climate change in permitting new infrastructure, e.g., solid waste landfills but was told global warming didn’t exist). But only recently have I seen hand sanitizer pop up in medical faciltiies.

    At any rate, simply having the sanitizers available at exits to medical facilities is a big improvement. But it is rare to find any at public areas such as city offices (with the exception of Bethel’s Mr Purell, City Clerk

    Last year’s statewide pandemic workshops were going to try to distribute copies of the excellent video Do it in your sleeve. Our regional panflu planning body did distribute “Get in free” mass disaster shelter passes last October but the shelter does not exist.

    Coincidence? I suspect the commercial businesses have really been pushing this towards medical facilities in the past few months, some of which are in Alaska.

    I really do hope it is a harbinger of readiness, so we don’t have another set of US Senate Hearings — here’s just one example, from prior to the worst —

    Ten villages this district affected. Three wiped out entirely; others average 85 per cent deaths. Majority of children of affected villages saved by relief parties sent by the Bureau of Education. Teachers in stricken villages all probably 25 per cent: this number frozen to death before help arrived. Over 300 children to be cared for, majority of whom are orphans. Am feeding and caring for surviving population of five large villages. Seven relief hospitals operated in affected villages; no trained nurses or physicians available.

  2. #2 Adam
    June 28, 2007

    I work for a healthcare organization and we’ve recently put those up all around the entrances. We had a measles outbreak, I believe, and someone decided it was a prudent idea.

    I don’t think you have to bring bird flu into it. The traditional, boring diseases are still what we typically see.

  3. #3 Sandra Porter
    June 29, 2007

    I was surprised because I’d never seen anything like it before. I thought it might be something special-either about Alaska- or about the hotel chain where we were staying.

    They were certainly easy to use. My youngest daughter tried it out every time we passed one of those stands.

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