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As concerns grow of a possible flu pandemic onslaught this autumn, alert authorities worldwide have been stockpiling emergency supplies. Masks, gloves and anti-viral medications are on the list. And body bags.
Demand for the latter is prompting a surge of interest in the wares of a small Toronto custom bag manufacturer named Trevor Owen Ltd. Inquiries about its pandemic body bags are pouring in from as far away as the Sultanate of Oman on the Arabian Peninsula.
TREVOR OWEN recently shipped several thousand of the thick plastic bags – sewn in its Scarborough factory and touted for their ability to "prevent leakage and seepage of bodily fluids" – to Alberta. It is bidding on a contract to supply Ohio with 12,500 of the white woven polyethylene pandemic bags.
"Some seniors' residences are starting to buy five, 10 or 15 at a time," said Trevor Owen president Pierre Barcik.
"There are state and provincial governments that are starting to stockpile pandemic body bags ... It's a bad pun, but (the business) is growing."
The general fear is that the traditional fall flu season will this time bring a surge in H1N1 swine flu cases – and deaths.
Microbiologist Dr. Allison McGeer, director of infection control for Mount Sinai Hospital, recently warned there would be more deaths and infections in the city as a result of the labour disruption at Toronto Public Health.
Trevor Owen is not the only supplier thriving because of the fears. Richard Miller, owner of the U.S.-based web portal ToDieFor.Biz that sells a line of body bags, said demand has doubled this year.
Although the competition is considerable, Barcik's company appears to have found a niche with its pandemic body bag, which differs from the bag typically used to transport and temporarily store the dead.
HAULING DEATH ISN'T Trevor Owen's stock and trade. Barcik's company makes a variety of bags for everyday functions, from the giant padded envelopes that keep your pizza warm on its delivery route to the heavy-duty duffles in which hockey players like the Ontario Hockey League's Soo Greyhounds tote their gear.
Still, Trevor Owen carries a substantial array of body bags; it's a sector that appears to require a diversified product line.
Cindy Maguire, the controller of Centennial Products, a Jacksonville, Fla.-based distributor of body bags whose customers include public health centres in Nova Scotia, said that among coroners and other tenders to the departed, body bags "are like a fashion statement, almost.
"People are very particular about colour, style, the seal of the bag, the zipper."
Originally posted by fleabit
Prepare for the worst? Why wouldn't they prepare for a more severe outbreak?
As far as mass graves, I've still to see any solid proof of that. It's about as solid as the train cars O death. Which is to say, not at all.