Friday, August 21, 2009

Got the fever?

Well, two people in my department have contracted swine flu--a doc student and an undergrad, and I am feeling a creeping sense of paranoia myself about contracting it. I haven't had contact with either one, but it doesn't really matter. The circle feels too close.

It doesn't help that I have seasonal allergies that make me feel gross at this time of year. But after reading countless stories about H1N1 virus in all the higher ed literature, not to mention the national news, I am getting more and more freaked about catching the virus.

I am like your friend who ALWAYS get the virus going around. I must have a limited immune system. Everytime we visit my goddaughter and she has a cold, I inevitably get it. I have come to believe that one of the problems of not having my own kids is that I have not built up the kind of immunity parents get.

The good news for me is that I only teach a small seminar this semester, so my chances of catching an illness from students is smaller than when I teach the really big lecture class. That said, I still report to campus most every weekday and sit in a building with lots of staff, faculty, and students milling around. And even this week, I have attended orientation events with hundreds of students, any of whom could be walking around unknowingly passing along this virus.

If it were just up to me, I might be one of those paranoid people who walks around in the mask (like the pic above). Of course, people would think I was nuts, and the mask would likely drive me crazy.
Ah, well, there is little to be done beyond taking the basic precautions. And it helps that few of the people infected have been severely sick or have died. I'm honestly just dreading being sick--it takes away time and energy that I need to dedicate to all sorts of things.

So, keep an eye out for the future post entitled, "Got it! Damn."

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