You can find below a nice collection of photos summarizing the atmosphere we’ve had during the last three weeks (thanks Victor!). There you can see the folkls I work with, and also some of the activities we’ve developed in Mexico, like the shipment of Oseltamivir:
Bonus: with a bit of attention you can also find me totally concentrated doing god only knows :)
The organization has been more flexible than I expected. In a big institution you’d say there are internal inertias difficult to change, requiring weeks to be redirected. However, we adapted our work in a matter of hours. We left one day with a list of priorities, and by the end of the next morning we had them rewroked. Having a smart boss is important.
I also thought that with hundrreds of people available, we were gonna set up shifts to keep the normal working hours to a certain extent (even if we needed to work in the weekends or night). Wrong again. It’s true we had shifts, but a large core of people decided to stay available 24/7, spending way more than 8 hours per day in the office. I don’t think this was about a lack of personnel but a commitment to their responsibilities.
In any case, it’s the first time I live a situation like this (and hopefully the last one) so I may be struck by things the veterans consider natural in emergencies. I’ll take my time before finalizing the (long) list of lessons learned –from day zero, like a reflex, I got a notebook and started writing down all kind of things: stuff to improve, to pay attention to, workflows, organization charts, research articles…. Like in the avian flu, this is hopfeully the kind of situations which make international institutions more effective, right?