Thursday, September 3, 2009

Swine flu

Swine flu panic is making a comeback.

I work at a university. The semester started last week. Over the past several weeks we've received several notices (many emails, announcements in meetings, etc) about the importance of flexible attendance policies so sick students don't feel compelled to come to class and infect the rest of the class. I got a care package for the start of the year with some of the usual goodies (pens, dry erase markers, sticky notes, aspirin) and a bonus full-size bottle of scented hand sanitizer.

I also use our faculty/staff gym. For the past month, there has travel size containers of hand sanitizer available at the exit, not to mention the many hand sanitizer bottles placed around the gym itself.

This week they pushed it up a notch. Staff members have been stationed in the parking lot in the morning handing out hand sanitizers as we arrive. The dean's office dropped off several containers of sanitizer for various places in our office. Seriously, you can't turn around without seeing hand sanitizer.

But the most over the top thing they did was station people (doctors? med students?) at the entrance to the cafeteria (used mostly by undergrads, but staff can also go) to answer questions about the flu and remind people to isolate themselves if they feel sick. I know they are trying to contain the flu and there have already been some cases on our campus, but this is really getting out of hand now.

I guess we could take the approach my nephew and his class have taken. His 6th grade class also has hand sanitizer bottles all over it. The class has named them and given them personalities. Some of the hand sanitizers are dating each other. So funny!


  1. My company is also stepping up precautions. They are encouraging all full timers and leadership to get the vaccine. And I think our CEO bought stock in the hand-sanitizer company.

  2. When I was teaching in China, this was normal procedure since the SARS outbreak. Before the students and teachers come into school they sanitize their hands, if you have so much as a runny nose you wear a mask... it just became part of the routine. It often feels like overkill but then.. better safe than sorry?


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