Change perception of sickness for the future

With this year’s flu season well under way the effects of the H1N1 pandemic can be seen on the Laurier campus.

Yet with all the media hype surrounding the issue, the flu has not hit with the intensity that was suggested.

Maybe though, all the fuss has lead to something positive: remembering that we have a social responsibility to stay at home and rest while sick.

The university environment, where countless students share desks daily, creates an arena for the contraction of bacteria and viruses.

First-year students who predominantly live in on-campus residences are typically under high amounts of stress, with questionable diets and a lack of sleep. The student population is vulnerable to getting sick.

A student showing up on campus sick with flu symptoms is common, but too often staff and faculty have been rather apathetic to sickness, since it is often used as an excuse for extended deadlines or missing class.

This semester, though, the genuinely ill have it easier than in the past – professors seem particularly committed to supporting and assisting those feeling under the weather.

The university has also posted a policy for people who have flu symptoms; reporting illness is now easy through the Laurier website, which allows students the freedom to be more conscientious of their health.

It is important to challenge the culture we have that has traditionally been unsupportive of taking sick days or “me” time.

Taking time off when one is sick will ultimately improve productivity and hopefully decrease the spreading of the flu.

The H1N1 scare has brought this cultural issue to the surface.

Now we can begin taking sickness more seriously.

Click here for more information about Laurier’s H1N1 policies