H1N1 has been a hot topic on campus since last April, but with the tragic death of junior Warren Schor last Friday, the nation’s eyes were turned on our campus as a prime example of how the flu is affecting colleges across the country. Freshmen who only recently discovered where their classes are held are being confronted with yet another stressful element to add to the already taxing transition to college life: a pandemic.
The response can be seen everywhere. Gallons of hand sanitizer are strategically positioned at every conceivable nook and cranny on campus. Cornell is branding small bottles of hand sanitizer with the University’s logo and distributing them to students living in on-campus housing. Today’s career fair in Barton Hall was a handshake-free event (see inset photo). Cornell’s infamous, massive sleepover for season hockey tickets has been called off. The list goes on.
While the fear of becoming seriously ill is definitely present in everyone’s mind, the real concern among most students seems to be fear of missing so much class. How will I ever catch up after being bed-ridden for a week? Those in-class quizzes, essays, readings, discussions are sure to add up. There are plenty of students circulating themselves on campus for that reason; they’re probably better off in bed, but they can’t stand to get so far behind. My professors have been somewhat understanding of students’ illness, but the reality is that most of the class is still showing up and there’s material that needs to be covered. It’s sometimes difficult to strike a balance, but in the interests of your fellow students, I ask that the swined-out zombies hacking up a lung on campus take a while to recover at home.
At the offices of the Daily Sun, staffers and editors are under strict orders to keep away if they show even the first signs of swine flu. If the entire editorial board were to become sick all at once, putting out a daily paper would be quite a herculean task. That’s why the top drawer of the photo department’s desk is now home to some heavy duty antibacterial wipes.
Here’s to hoping it doesn’t get much worse.
[Photo: Mark H. Anbinder]