Thursday, June 4, 2009


It was a bit surreal. To be standing alone in the school corridor because everyone has left.

One foreign student confirmed to have AH1N1. The school will be closed for 10 days. Some might think that's a bit much. But it's standard procedure they say. According to WHO. Just the same, it was pretty hard to believe that school was being shut down.

They're not revealing identities. But I suppose they're rounding up the possible contact points. And those who might have been exposed are probably in quarantine now.

Only rumors to go by. So far, I've heard the pronoun "she." And which college "she" is from. Not our college. Whew.

I'm in school 2 days a week. I interact with only a few people from the department, and my students are enrolled in major subjects. I don't go around much. The chances that her virus has somehow got to me is almost nil.

Unless she went to the library and used the desk a few minutes before I used it. Or had a kiwi strawberry shake like I did and sneezed on the straw holder, from which I picked up my straw. Or we walked together from the parking lot, and she exhaled a bit much. Insert suspense horror movie sound effects here.

Who knows where she's been? I certainly don't want to panic. But the mind is actively imagining scenarios. The erstwhile invisible air suddenly acquires a psychedelic haze and neon green dust enlarge and fly around like spring fluff landing on every throbbing surface. Every epidemic panic movie gets replayed in my head.

The second the rumors were confirmed by a memo in black in white, I started feeling psychosomatically hot and slightly diarrheic.

But really, I'm okay. Maybe I should just enjoy the extended vacation. Though a 10-day quarantine of just reading would be nice.

Ugh. I dread the repercussions of making up for lost time. Makeup classes are a pain. And my 2 sections are not on the same page anymore. Bummer.

I pray that "she" gets better and that will not be as traumatized as I imagine she'd be. It's not a cool way to get famous. I pray that no one else is infected. I pray that this scare blows over. Paranoia is not a pretty emotion.

Life in the time of the AH1N1.

The panic reminds me a bit of Saramago's Blindness. Surreal.


fantaghiro23 said...

I know exactly how you feel. Except I have the benefit of knowing that one of my students tested positive.

Crap. For him and for me.