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Author: TriSec    Date: 03/08/2020 12:23:19

Like a wave of molasses from a ruptured tank, the inexorable spread of Coronavirus continues throughout the land.

It's been fairly quiet in Boston; only one reported case thus far, and it was a student at UMass that had traveled to China near the beginning of the outbreak.

Until last week.

You might know the name "Biogen". It's a leading pharmaceutical company, and like many, it's based here in Cambridge near MIT. About ten days ago, they had what was an ordinary meeting, but then people with what might have been Influenza suddenly discovered that it wasn't.

Three employees of Boston-based Biogen have tested positive for the novel coronavirus. None of the employees live in Massachusetts but all had been at the company’s headquarters last week for a management conference.

Two of the employees came to the United States from the European Union and the other was from Tennessee. According to a company statement, the three employees are doing well and “improving under the care of their healthcare providers.” Because the three employees had attended the conference, Biogen said out of an abundance of caution, those who were in the conference with these individuals have been directed to work from home for the next two weeks, whether they are displaying symptoms or not, MSN reported this morning.

Biogen said following the meeting in Boston last week, several employees began reporting flu-like symptoms. After conferring with physicians, some of the employees were confirmed to have the flu, while the three tested positive for COVID-19.

OK, great. So some asshats with the flu attended the meeting. Look - we've all been there. How many days have we all worked with a common cold, sinus infection, or indeed, even early phases of influenza?

But that's not the crux. Last week, Old Town Trolley had our monthly cast meeting. We all boarded a trolley at the base, and drove cross-town to the Original Cheers Bar for the event; we were overstuffed into a small room, then crowded into the "Replica" bar for the rest of the evening. Pretty close contact, if you know what I mean.

These two disconnected events though, share a common thread. That Biogen meeting took place on Boston's waterfront, at the Marriott Long Wharf Hotel. Here's a stock photo of our trolleys lined up waiting for guests - note the hotel sign.


One of the peculiarities of my company is that we provide hotel concierges to a few locations around the city. The Copley Marriott Hotel. The Park Plaza Hotel. And...the Marriott Long Wharf.

Concierges being what they are, one of them was in the Biogen room during the meeting.

Days later, that same concierge was crammed into Cheers with all of us - on the same day the news broke about the Biogen conference.

I'll keep you posted.


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