The only thing spreading faster than the swine flu is the panic surrounding it. The H1N1 virus is sweeping the nation, along with the sheer terror that the next victim will be you. People are talking about it constantly, rumors are circulating, stories are being shared, and everyone is speculating about what will happen next.
The number of “confirmed cases” seems to double by the day. Everyone knows someone who has had (or at least thinks they have had) the swine flu. It is something we all have in common, so we all like to talk about. Nobody wants to get it. People get nervous even hearing the words “swine flu.” They freak out at the possibility that it is nearby.
With all this panic, people are taking extreme cautions to make sure they do not become victims to the swine flu. Some people have wiped down their entire rooms with Clorox disinfectant, and carry Purel with them wherever they go.
Intense measures are being taken to inform (and hopefully prevent) the swine flu from spreading further. So many emails have been sent out to Carolina students, spelling out the rules and regulations of living with the swine flu. Students are being asked to “voluntarily self-isolate” if they feel they have caught the dreaded virus. The precautions seem to be borderline ridiculous.
In a recent email, I was “urged to prepare in advance for the possibility of becoming ill” and to put together a survival kit of things I would need in case I got the swine flu. I was told to buy simple supplies to prepare myself for my 3-4 days of “self-isolation.”
These email alerts have been increasing in their extremeness. They are informative, and provide a common subject for students to discuss, but mostly just increase they hype around the swine flu. This buzz has caused all kinds of rumors to float around.
One thing is for sure, though: the number of confirmed cases is on the rise. Every day more people are reportedly getting the swine flu, especially on college campuses. With thousands of students living, eating, and sleeping in tight quarters, college is the perfect place for this flu to spread. There are even some rumors around that schools will be shut down if they reach a certain number of “swine flu victims.”
Everyone is feeling a little bit of the swine flu. It has almost become as much of a mental problem as it is an actual problem. People are freaking out, claiming they have got the flu, when really it’s just the common cold. There has been so much warning and terror about the flu; it is on everyone’s mind.
. The swine flu seems to be getting way more attention than necessary. People are planning and preparing for a pandemic. I see this panic as overdone and I really hope not to be proven wrong.