Having lived through a norovirus epidemic at work, I’m not all that worried about the swine flu (although having a compromised immune system might be a problem). However…
Thing One’s niece attends St. Francis Prep. She had swine flu. Thing One’s boss’ daughter attends St. Francis Prep. She had swine flu. Thing One’s boss? Yep, he has swine flu. So how is Thing One doing? HPOW has consulted lawyers, locked and disinfected at least one room, and has asked him to take the rest of the week off. He feels fine, despite having had a flu-like thing two weeks ago. Having seen his doctor last Saturday for an annual check-up, he even has a clean bill of health (for now).
MPOW is staying open… for now. With AP exams set to start next week, I can’t see schools wanting to close (although the College Board should consider a reschedule given the heightened sensitivity to this outbreak).
I’ve been working with my 8th graders, asking them to synthesize their research know-how to find out the truth behind the virus (surprise! you can’t get it if you eat pork products). Perhaps they’ll be able to help quell any fears in our Middle School. Still, people are nervous and the media aren’t helping.
Yes, it’s a pandemic. Yes, washing your hands will help. Yes, you have the right to be concerned. But no, you don’t have the right to panic and spread fear. Just get informed. And be careful out there.