Sunday, April 26, 2009

waiting for the pandemic

Swine flu.

It's now a "public health emergency," having sickened hundreds across North America, leading to roughly 86 deaths in Mexico. Events in affected regions have been postponed or canceled--schools, shops, churches, offices shuttered to keep exposure at a minimum. In our area, authorities are already considering their options, which seems wise, given that cases have been reported in neighboring British Columbia. (Sensible advice is found here. Panicking won't help, but it might be wise to make sure you have enough around the house so could stay home for a few days.)

A few years ago, when the avian version was in the news, I blogged about how it could precipitate a change in the way we do education.
I enjoy teaching in a traditional classroom, with all the advantages and difficulties of seat time and face-to-face instruction, and I'm sure those who are entrenched in that format aren't going to let it disappear without a fight. The technological capability is there, though, waiting for the right social and political context. (As a hypothetical, think how readily people would accept online instruction in the advent of an avian flu pandemic.) When it happens, will you be ready?
I am.

1 comment:

EllenRice said...

It depends on the severity of the flu. If people feel a bit icky for a day or two, then there will be frustration and grumpiness at schools and community things being closed. If, however, there is serious illness and frequent deaths (particularly among the young), then staying home will have a huge appeal.

The next few days will be interesting, for sure.