Saturday, July 05, 2014

behind the curtain

so i was out kayaking with a friend and her phone rings.

i know, right?

i don't keep a phone on while i'm kayaking.

but it's someone from work, so she picks up. "something's going on in BT", she tells me casually.

after she's done talking on the phone, i ask what BT is.

"biological terrorism."
"oh. that sounds worse than what i had in mind."

well, it turns out that there are a number of biological thingies you can be exposed to environmentally. you know, while you're just working in your garden or something and if you get sick and the hospital cultures you for whatever you might have and the profile of it MIGHT match something on the CDC's list of worrisome things, a team of people from the state lab gets called in to work from whatever they were doing.

a courier gets called to pick up the specimen and at least two people from the lab have to go in and prepare cultures and grow them and check them.

it's kind of a pain if this happens, say, over the fourth of july weekend because the microbiologists might be at barbecues or baseball games or, you know, an hour and a half by paddle up a river somewhere.

it's kind of nice to see them organizing that work, because the state health lab moves kinda snappy to sort things out for one sick patient on a holiday weekend, which suggests to me that they are prepared to move quickly when there is more urgent need.

it's nice to know that the lab doesn't get to it when they get to it; they get to it NOW, holiday weekend or not.


Cookie said...

"biological terrorism."
"oh. that sounds worse than what i had in mind."


Zhoen said...

Good folks, there.


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