While swine flu made for a good joke this summer, with the recent outbreak of cases here at Tech, it is time to take the disease more seriously. We appreciate the efforts of the administration and Health Services to contain the spread as much as possible, but now it is time for students to do their part as well.
If you feel at all sick, do not go to class. Go straight to the health center to get treated or stay in your room. Cover your cough while you are there. The only way to contain H1N1 is to put health before class attendance. Professors are aware of the issue, and should be understanding. It not only saves you from being more ill in the long run, but keeps other students from getting sick.
If you do not feel ill, there are easy ways to prevent contracting the virus. Use the many hand sanitizer pumps put up around campus, and wash your hands often. Be more aware of group gatherings. If you are at a party, be careful. Don’t drink out of cups other people have already used. Actually listen to health warnings and take them to heart. Sign up for regular flu shots and prevent the regular flu from adding to the panic of H1N1.
Finally, try and be respectful of those who already have contracted swine flu. It doesn’t help anyone to mock people who have come down with something. They imaginably feel bad enough. Pointing out people in masks in public and yelling “Swine flu!” doesn’t help prevent disease; it just hurts those already sick.
It would also be beneficial to have better literature and personal hand sanitizer made available to students.
In the bigger picture, swine flu is no longer a serious joke, it is a serious disease. However, this does not mean that students should panic. Simply take care to recognize the situation and act accordingly.