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Will H1N1 Attend Classes in the Philippine Schools this Year?

Some time ago, I wrote something about the spread of a mysterious Swine Flu (now more popularly known as H1N1) virus all over America and the world. I have also surmised about migration being the possible culprit of the spread, and why the virus cannot be easily contained.

Now that the school year is about to begin, Philippine schools are faced with uncertainty. There can be other centers that the virus may attack, but why are schools on the verge of great vulnerability?
Everyone undergoes a process of socialization. We complete a process of becoming through socializing centers such as the family, peers, church, political and economic centers – even markets – and many others that play a role in the maturity of the Filipino. These centers are responsible for inculcating the much-needed values, habits and attitudes an individual is required to possess and exhibit in the more advanced stage of social life.

The school is a socializing agent that is vulnerable to the spread of contagious diseases such as H1N1 because it is a melting pot of people from various aspects and areas of the society. Students come from various orientations and different exposures. Economically, some students could even afford taking vacations abroad. Others stay in places where there is a high risk of exposure to the virus over the vacation time. Now that the new school year is finally coming, students are more at risk of acquiring the virus.

De La Salle University-Manila, for example, had a one-day closure due to a couple of international exchange students who were found positive of the virus. Recently, Ateneo de Manila University Grade School and High School had a ten-day suspension due to a similar scare. More schools are still being suspected to have traces of the mysterious “student”.

The Department of Education (DepEd) has decided to move the first school day to June 15th. This is a good strategy in order to put vulnerabilities into quarantine. In my view, private schools are more at risk than public schools because families of private school children are more economically capable of sending them to vacations, theme parks, and other urbanized centers where exposures are more possible.

Now that the kids are all rushing to a brand new school year, what do we need to do? Certainly, no parent will ever be willing to see a child seated beside a classmate named H1N1!
H1N1 is airborne. What needs to be done?
  1. Teach kids to cover their mouth when sneezing or when in front of other sneezing kids.
  1. Minimize bringing kids to public places such as malls and theme parks. (That's awful! You need to think of your own creative explanation).
  1. Use disinfectants on a regular basis. (No brands are recommended. I don't get any commission, anyway!)
  1. Stay informed. Be updated with breaking news. The virus may now be within your child's reach.
  1. Take supplements to boost the immune system. There is no magic pill that can be recommended. Learn how to read labels and do simple researches about supplements that really work.
  1. When in a worst-case scenario, contact authorities if you suspect someone to have full-blown manifestations of the symptoms.