This past week, I took two days off to visit the happiest place on Earth… Disney World, of course. Well, the happiest place on Earth made me sick – so sick that the last day of our trip was nearly unbearable for me. We got home on Sunday and I felt worse with 102-degree fever.  My wife started getting the same symptoms as myself and now we’re really worried because she is 4 months pregnant. My daughter had a little cough but nothing to worry about at the time. I dreaded having to wake up on Monday morning and getting back to work but I had some catching up to do. There’s never a good time to take vacation but I took it now so being sick will have to take a back seat.

I don’t want to be at work and infect any of my team with whatever I have so I decide to go into the office to pick up some things and work from home. On my way in, I pick up CNN Headline News and Robin Meade talking about a possible flu pandemic in Mexico with a few reported cases in other countries including the U.S. – mostly in areas with lots of international travelers.

My brain now makes a full STOP. Wasn’t I was just in one of those places (aka Disney). My daughter took countless pictures with Minnie, Mickey, Donald, and all those other marketing gimmicks in Never-Never land. She kissed them all on the nose. The same nose that thousands of other kids kissed that day. Some of those kids were from Mexico. THen she kissed me, my wife and my mother-in-law. If that didn’t get us, rubbing elbows with thousands of other internationals could have. President Obama said, “it’s cause for concern but not alarm”. Well, I really like the new guy but I am alarmed at this point.

All I can say is thank GOD for Citrix and our technology. It’s exactly what a paranoid husband and father needs at a time like this. See, I put in an honest days work today thanks to Citrix XenApp, GoToMeeting and GoToMyPC. And guess what… My manager told me I should stay home tomorrow vs. coming in because I could still be contagious and could infect others. She has that option because we use Citrix technology. She has a virtual workforce. If she wanted me to work in Zimbabwe, I could. We have a virtual workforce enabled on a worldwide scale. Now, if you think letting your employees work from home leads to reduced productivity… think again. Look at the time on this posting. It’s past 1am Eastern Standard Time and I feel compelled to work longer, not just to keep pace, but to surpass expectations.

For those not aware, this outbreak is being labeled as  Phase 4 by the World Health Organization. It hasn’t gone beyond 3 since the Bird Flu. Whatever happens with this Swine Flu thing – pandemic or not – Citrix itself is vaccinated. Are you? Is your business ready? If you aren’t sure, then you need to look at Citrix. Even if the Swine Flu turns out to be a bunch of bologna, ask yourself this… would you have been prepared? How could this have affected your business? What happens if the next pandemic or disaster is not so kind. To most, the answer is devastating. Imagine, people being quarantined at home, your workers calling in sick right and left, no one on premises. All of that can be avoided with a virtual workforce enabled by Citrix. And best of all, IT can do this TODAY… no marketing gimmicks, no magic. Even if you don’t have an IT department because you’re a small business, you can empower yourself with Citrix GoToMeeting and Citrix GoToMyPC.

As for me, my wife’s fever spiked this afternoon and I was able to be home to help balance the load. Our little one is a handful even when sick but now she sings tunes from Disney movies like a broken record (Heaven help me). Anyway, the point I was trying to make is that I was home to take care of my wife and my daughter when they needed me most and I didn’t have to sacrifice my work to do that. After 11 years at this company it’s still amazing that I can tell that kind of story with ease. I’ll work from home again tomorrow as we have some doctor’s appointments scheduled just to be safe. Gosh I love being employed at a virtual workplace.