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News Editor

When bird flu meets panic

Mar 14, 20062 mins
Data Breach

It’s the aspect of disaster preparedness that disaster preparedness really can’t handle — panic — and discussion of it comes up at the very end of this week’s Network World story headlined: “Bird flu: IT pros planning for the worst.”

“You’ve got a human fear factor, and you may have people reacting in a way you couldn’t predict,” says Paul Beaudry, director of technical services for JRI, a Canadian agribusiness company. “You may have a quarantine situation and business can be impacted – there’s no question. But you have to keep the business running.”

Someone has to keep the business running, but that doesn’t mean it has to be me – or you, for that matter. I don’t say this to be flip, but rather to drive home the point that this is one of those situations where the experts only know so much and the rest of us know a whole lot less — especially as relates to the question of how ordinary human beings might react when the matter becomes one of life or death.

Let’s face it, when that happens our primary loyalties will be to our families and Charles Darwin.

So what are you going to do when the boss asks if you’d mind venturing into a flu “hot zone” because that Exchange Server is acting up again?

News Editor

In addition to my editing duties, I have written Buzzblog since January, 2006 and wrote the 'Net Buzz column in Network World's dearly departed print edition for 13 years. Feel free to e-mail me at