Healthy on campus

It was a busy day! I had a lunch meeting with the Dean’s Office of the large university where I was taking post-graduate classes and working. Following the meeting, which included some students but mostly religious leaders at the university involved in interfaith work on campus, I needed to take an exam in my Asian Religions class. As I hurried from the meeting to the exam, all I could think about were the mounting concerns about the flu on campus. 

Over that lunch meeting, the Dean had spoken about the university’s campaign to prevent a possible outbreak. Temporary health centers were created to provide vaccinations. Faculty and students received frequent e-mail updates about the situation. We’d also been given small tubes of hand-sanitizer with the university’s logo on it. Certainly it was one among many efforts to inform and safeguard the community, but it felt almost paradoxical that this trendy-looking tube of hand-sanitizer could be a kind of panacea for such an ugly epidemic. It’s not that I really thought these efforts were in vain or insincere, but a true antidote for the shock waves of fear seemed to be missing.

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