Tuesday, November 01, 2005

The Possible Superflu Pandemic And Our Schools

This morning, I listened to President Bush's speech about how the federal government is planning for the possibility of a pandemic outbreak of a lethal strain of avian influenza, what some are already calling "superflu."

The President has just announced a website:
www.pandemicflu.gov and has requested several billion dollars from Congress for the purpose of stockpiling medicines.

This greatly concerns me.

What are the schools doing to plan for this possible epidemic? And if the superflu strikes, at what point should the schools be closed and the children kept home in an effort to reduce their exposure?

As classroom teachers, we work with large numbers of children in relatively close quarters. So for many of us, exposure to the disease would occur relatively early. Would teachers be deemed "essential employees," and receive medications on a priority basis?

Food for thought.