Here’s something to swine about

Mara Yamnicky

What’s cold, smells of gym socks and is black all around? The isolation chamber in the Recreation Center.

On Wednesday, Sept. 2, Quinnipiac’s Crisis Management Team proposed some possible solutions if a H1N1 outbreak were to occur on campus. According to the memo, if any student who lives in Quinnipiac-owned housing starts to feel flu-like symptoms and cannot get home, he or she will be temporarily isolated on the second floor of the Recreation Center, while being monitored by Health Services.

Now I know the Crisis Management Team has spent ample time making this decision, but the words “isolation area” provoke imagery of a place that makes me feel more like a prawn of District 9 than a human being.

Other H1N1 prevention precautions that make students feel more like science experiments include the fact you will be “sought-out” if you do not respond to why you have been absent for two classes in a row. Because we all know that if we are going to skip two classes in a row it has nothing to do with forgetting to finish an assignment or being too hungover and everything to do with swine flu.

I mean if I really thought I had the swine flu do you think I would publicize it? Just walking down Bobcat Way would be like a replay of parting the Red Sea. Add in the idea of isolation and I’ve just become the reincarnation of the Black Plague.

But it doesn’t end here. The memo goes on to include what you can do to keep from getting sick, most of which just seems overly obvious. For example, “if you do not have a tissue, use your sleeve,” it said. Well, last time I heard using your sleeve was socially acceptable, oh wait, using your sleeve is never socially acceptable. So, please, please, please do not use your sleeve, especially if you’re sitting next to me in class. Not only will I thank you but so will your reputation.

The memo proceeds to voice that one should “avoid contact with people who are ill or maintain a distance of three to six feet from anyone who is coughing.” Did Thomas Paine just walk in the room, because this is common sense!

I know the University is doing this for our safety, but, as adults capable of living on our own, we know that if someone looks sick to keep our distance and still get them help. I really appreciate that the University is fully prepared if any outbreak was to occur, but possibly rewording the message to students to make them feel more like humans instead of the pigs on the cutting room floor of Saw III (a movie which makes me never want to touch bacon again) can help to get the message around campus more efficiently.