Coughing, runny noses and sore throats have always been a frequent display on campus when the winter months roll in. Classmates get sick, rest in bed, recover and all is done and forgotten soon after.
However, with many students coming down with flu-like symptoms here at Quinnipiac, all hell has broken loose. A few students missing from class immediately turns into the assumption that “the swine got them.” And as if people weren’t panicking enough, we now have students residing in the “isolation center” located on the upper level of the Recreation Center. So how serious is this outbreak at Quinnipiac? Should we all really be walking around in masks on our faces and refusing to make contact with any other humans on campus?
In all honesty, it seems a little ridiculous how paranoid everyone has become. In case anyone wasn’t aware, H1N1 is just the flu. Yes, it can be a very serious ailment in rare cases and we should be more cautious about sharing drinks and covering our mouths when we cough. However, 99 percent of the time, H1N1 is nothing more than the achy body and slight fever that we all have experienced numerous times before.
The only thing we can do to stay swine-free is take the same precautions that we were all taught in kindergarten. Wash your hands, cover your mouth, don’t share drinks; it really isn’t rocket science. You can even take your precautions a step further by drinking tea, rinsing your mouth with salt water and most obvious of all, staying away from those who are sick. Otherwise, continue to go about your normal routine and don’t over analyze everything. A sneeze here or a cough there doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve contracted the most blown-up sickness since the Bubonic plague.
At this point, it seems as though students are taking one of two approaches to looking at the H1N1 outbreak. The first approach consists of locking themselves in their dorm rooms and buying enough disinfectent to last them the next 50 years. The second approach seems to involve turning the entire incident into a pathetic joke. I’m sure we have all heard the jokes about “the pig got me!” or the songs about how “this little piggy went to market.”
Students should strive to find a happy medium between the two approaches. Swine isn’t a huge joke and should be taken seriously, but not to the extent that we force ourselves to live in a human bubble. We need to treat this just as we would any other flu or virus. We all need to take off our masks and go on with our lives.