About two weeks ago, I heard that there was an in-house catered team event at the Burnaby studio where I used to commute to every day. Some teams have decided to return to the studio, at least a few days of the week. Anyways, there was some sorta social event, which had food served. Some of the employees who ate the food fell ill shortly afterwards with all the classic signs of a food-borne illness. There was nausea and the nasty stuff coming out of both ends.

Now I’ve heard the studio has been implementing sanitation and preventative measures that you would do for a norovirus outbreak. Apparently, employees have continued to fall ill and they believe that a norovirus has found its way into the studio. From what I understand, such a virus lives on surfaces and that’s how it is spread. To reduce common touch surfaces, they’ve even removed the silverware cutlery from the cafeteria, so that they don’t have dozens and dozens of hands reaching into the same container and touching many utensils while they get one from the pile. Instead, they’re now using these disposable and compostable utensils that you grab one at a time from a dispenser. Each person can get a fork or spoon and not touch the next one.

This is the first time I’ve heard the studio try to fight a norovirus proactively like this and I’ve worked there for many, many years. Could have such a virus been in the studio before? Possibly. I know I’ve gotten food poisoning while I was working there but it’s hard to tell if I got it somewhere else as well. I definitely have not heard about many people on the same team getting sick from a single team event. That’s new to me.

The one silver lining, if there is one, is that the washrooms at the Burnaby studio have been renovated in the last three years and they’re just so fantastic to use now. Most now have gender neutral individual stalls with doors that go from ceiling right down to the floor. They make for a very private experience to have a poop. Before the pandemic, they had already converted a single washroom like this and it became my default place to poop. I actually didn’t mind pooping at work anymore because of this new stalls.

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