Swine flu has hit the country and how! Delhi University is not far behind here; students are caught up in their own perceptions about the flu, and are affected by the national mania, to say the least.
As one travels by the metro, one can see lots of students with masks on their faces as a precautionary measure. We are not even talking about the N-95 masks here; these are the normal disposable masks, which are quite easily available over the counter. That apart, one can see safety measures being followed in various colleges. Hans Raj for instance, has put up a notice stating that anybody with flu like symptoms should get himself/herself clinically assessed and stay at home, if need be. The staffs as well as students in DU are in the midst of the swine flu scare, and why not? With almost all national newspapers giving it prime space on their papers, this issue is bound to get out of control. Masks have not yet been seen on college campuses, but if it is blown out of proportion in the same way as it is being done presently, that is inevitable.
In fact, in colleges such as Hansraj and LSR rumors seem to be spreading faster than the flu itself. In Hans Raj, Mr. Subhash Kalra, one of the office department, developed fever on the 8th of August. In a matter of days, the news spread that somebody has contracted swine flu in college. Many students were not aware of this piece of news, except for a few. The office department was well aware though, and according to Kalra, this created some panic, which was enough to materialize into a rumor.
Meanwhile in LSR, one of the hostellers contracted fever, and yet again, swine flu mania preceded logic, and led to unnecessary panic.
However, exceptions are always there. Madhu Nath, a regular commuter in the metro says, “H1N1 is not a new virus. I guess people with poor resistance are more prone to be affected. I’m not scared. It’s an individual’s personal choice whether they want to use masks or not, and personally, I don’t think it’s required for all. It’s like any other flu, if you have contracted it, just stay at home!”