29 April 2009

Possible swine flu at the University of Delaware: the response

University text messages/phone calls (including to emergency contact people!) last night alerted us to four UD students with "probable" swine flu. (Message text: "4 UD students have been identified with influenza that meets probable definitions for swine flu.") Today the university is (thankfully) open, with students around in typical numbers. That encourages me that there is not widespread panic (i.e. not too many students are holed up in their rooms). But it's definitely not business as usual. For example, the gym is closed, having been converted into a temporary health care center (photo above).

Whether the absence of panic is true outside of the student base is another issue. I would be interested to see the effects on restaurant/business receipts on Main St over the next few days (or at least until we know something more definitive - they are still not confirmed cases of swine flu, just suspected). However, I skipped getting my lunch pizza at Peace today out of precaution - too many hands touching other hands that will touch my food. Sushi at the Trabant student center? Not a problem. The sushi handlers always wear gloves (and don't touch money anyway). The cashiers were also doing their part to keep hand-to-hand contact down:

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