The auditorium, usually teeming with life and the various sounds of the petty conversations that pre-teens engage in, was dead silent and nearly empty.
There are 360 people in 7th grade at my school. Only one hundred came to school today. Of course, this is the natural reaction when there are 14 cases of swine flu in the county, eight of them in your school.
And something not everyone knew: This swine flu is the same sickness that killed thousands upon thousands in 1918, then called the Spanish Flu. The subtype for both these diseases are H1N1.
It seemed that everyone was handling it differently. Some scoffed. Some used it as an excuse to miss school. Some were paranoid and cautious (enough to wear a surgical masks to school). Still others joked around about it, wearing pig noses, and coughing their way to the fronts of lines, saying, "Hi, I'm from _____ Middle School," which caused all to scatter. It's actually pretty funny.
For some reason, the principal refuses to close school. Perhaps it's because we're already 2 weeks behind. But it matters not whether school is closed or not, because with every day (that is to say, with every new case), 50-100 less people are attending school (not that it matters, since there's hardly any school left in the year).
But all I've talked about is 7th grade! Only 47% of people came to school at all today. Substitutes were the majority. The hallways were silent. There were camera crews in my science class.
Through it all, however, the teachers tried to keep a handle on things, trying to actually go on with class.
By the way, in science we made contraptions that were supposed to keep eggs safe during a drop from a three-story window. I won!
Anyway, as it seems, the faculty has stopped announcing confirmed cases over the PA–at least not all of them. If they did, would they have any students? But it's still infuriating that they've decided to stop telling us about things that concern our health, just to keep us ignorant and them with a job.
So, in a nutshell,
- No one is coming to school anymore
- Those who are are getting the run of the place
- Those who aren't are hanging at the mall instead of math class (I did that yesterday)
- The school is trying to pass all the cases off as "very mild" and nothing to be feared
- The school has stopped telling us about the cases
- There are 8 cases
- I probably won't be going to school on Tuesday
- I won Egg Drop '09!
- I fear we will all die of the Spanish/Swine Flu!
P.S. Holly, thank you so much for talking about "Need" by Hana Pestle. I wouldn't have heard about it otherwise, and I LOVE it!