(Oops…I had this post scheduled for the wrong day…better late than never, right? Enjoy!)
The work camp housed approximately five thousand people at maximum capacity, accounting for an average of one thousand commissioning technicians, twenty-five hundred construction workers, one thousand employees of the site owner company, and five hundred camp personnel.
Due to the nature of the camp, those five thousand people were almost always in very close proximity to one another. The walls were paper-thin, the air was circulated from room to room to avoid drawing in the dust-laden air from outside, and every two bedrooms shared a single toilet and shower.
Hygiene was not always kept to the highest standards. Rooms were only cleaned twice per week, with towels and washcloths being changed out on the same schedule. Bed sheets were cleaned or changed once every ten days. Food was served via a cafeteria-style system that encouraged dozens of residents at a time to lean and reach over, rummage through, and generally manhandle the dietary options.
Morale also tended to be quite low. Residents worked between a ten- and twelve-hour shift, traveling half an hour each way on overcrowded buses. Neighboring residents often had conflicting shifts, leading to arguments concerning noise complaints and shower usage timing. Washing machines, vending machines, and cellphone coverage regularly broke down. Unreasonably strict rules frustrated the majority of the residents, while the minority broke simple-to-follow rules and created unnecessary backlash for everyone.
It was a miserable place, full of angry, tired, frustrated people who had been eating poorly and getting more and more lapsed in basic hygiene practices with each passing day.
It was the perfect place for the outbreak to begin.