Monday, May 4, 2009

An Ounce of Prevention...

Is Worth A Pound of Cure (So says Ben Franklin).

As the H1N1 "swine" flu virus is hitting closer to home, schools have some difficult decisions to make...Father Gabriel Richard High School (on the north side of Ann Arbor, but a much wider student base) is closing until May 11th with a couple of suspected flu cases. Plymouth-Canton Schools (which do draw some Washtenaw County kids) are closing today and tomorrow while a possible flu case gets confirmed.

I'm sure there will be more. The CDC is recommending that schools close for up to 14 days! [This is based on contagion patterns.] Is this excessive? In a typical flu season, having one or two students with flu in your school would not cause you to close for one or two weeks. One or two kids with a stomach bug? The schools would not close.

On the other hand, we don't know much about this virus yet. And I guess I would still rather err on the side of cautiousness. I feel very sure that if I was a principal or superintendent, I would not want to end up with any severe illnesses or deaths on my hand. The extension of school by a few days seems like a small price to pay.

Ben Franklin's saying, by the way, applies to a very wide range of circumstances. Think about it.

In the meantime, I need some contingency childcare plans.

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