Virus alert: major threat to all UK businesses

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Anxious businesswoman
Computer virus, huh? A real biological one can take out a whole population

It’s a rolling threat too. Persistent – and really nasty.  Able to shut a whole company down for weeks.

Worse, it keeps coming back. Attached to emails, or via the phone. Certainly through your laptop or tablet.

Better get onto IT pronto. That’s Infection Troubleshooting, in case you were wondering.

Real virus, real bug, real illness

Because this thing is not digital or electronic. It’s physical and affects you personally. That’s what real viruses do. Or bacteria. Or fungi.

So it’s not rebooting or resetting your CPU we might be looking at. It’s a possible full-blown medical emergency, admitting you to ICU. In full quarantine if it’s serious.

Yes, THAT kind of virus.

The kind makes you run a fever. Breaks  you out in sweats. Has you coughing your soul out. Twists your gut with wrenching cramps. Clamps you to the loo with acid runs. Makes you upchuck all your insides. Spins your brain doolally. Turns your muscles to water. Makes you ill for days or weeks. Keeps attacking until you’re dead.

They’re everywhere, they’re everywhere

A GERM virus. That kind of threat.

One of the many billions that surround us every day. Sitting on the paper your email is printed on. Lurking in the finger smears on your smartphone touch-screen. Same thing with the keypad and visual display screen of your other devices. Wafting in the air all around.

Which means it’s not computer downtime we’re worried about, that’s fixable.

We’re talking about a major people outage – absenteeism across the board. The downside threat that costs British business a hefty £29 billion a year.

Everybody caught by a stupid bug that goes round like wildfire – and the whole company is down the tubes.

Sloppy hygiene

Of course none of us want to believe it, but a hefty chunk of this threat is caused by our own sloppy hygiene. The awkward and embarrassing truth that we just don’t wash our hands.

Because we can’t SEE germs – microscopically invisible at just 3 microns across and less –  we reckon our hands are clean. Reality is that while 99% of us claim to wash our hands after going to the loo, only 32% of men and 64% of women actually do.

And out of those who actually do wash, a whopping 95% of us don’t even do the job properly.

But it’s not just our hands.

Everything around is covered in germs too. The threat is everywhere. Exactly how badly depends on how often a thing gets cleaned or not. The average office desk, for instance, caries at least 10 million germs – even though the place is probably vacuumed out every night and everything wiped down.

Personal germ cloud

We ourselves are just as bad, walking round with our own personal germ cloud signature trailing everywhere we go.

Most of the time we’re OK with it, the germs are benign or we’re immune to them. But not everybody else is. So they can catch all manner of illnesses, just by being in the same room with us.

And what about the room? It too has it’s own quota of germs – an aggregate of everything brought in by everybody else. PLUS whatever blew in, or was already there in the first place.

Billions and billions of viruses, spores and bacteria – so light they may never fall to ground. Waiting to be breathed in or swallowed by whoever happens to be there. Corralled and intensified by the four walls that surround us – we do after all live indoors 90% of the time.

Yeah, so that’s why the virus alert. Or bacteria, or fungi.

Right now with everybody coming back from holiday, maybe it’s norovirus or flu. Or from unwashed hands, maybe campylobacter or escherichia coli.

Whatever it is, any one of them can kill. Perhaps not directly, but we are our own worst enemies. Dragging ourselves into work when we feel like death. From misplaced sense of duty or threat to job security, it doesn’t matter which.

We let our illnesses get bad, we infect everyone else – then complications set in. Dehydration, blood poisoning, organ failure. The kind of thing that IT can do nothing about – either the computer or medical kind.

Getting our own back

But there is an escape – so simple, it’s surprising more companies haven’t thought of it before.

Sterilise the place every night, so every day starts with zero germ-hazard.

And not just the surfaces either – all the nooks and crannies and even the air itself. Right down to the smears on your laptop. The sticky finger marks might still be there – but the germs are dead and gone.

Dead easy and simple too. Using a Hypersteriliser, the place gets misted up with ionised hydrogen peroxide. Dry, so vital connections are safe and secure. A mild, eco-friendly 6% solution, so sensitive materials are unaffected.

One hour later, all viruses and bacteria are gone. The alert is over – and £29 billion downtime is avoided.

No coughs or colds this winter. No nasty tummy bugs either. Not unless you forget the soap and water.

Sigh, first it was your Mum kept on at you, now it’s your employer.

Go on. Wash you hands before you do anything. Be good now, don’t disappoint.

Picture Copyright: natulrich / 123RF Stock Photo