A healthy dose of learning

Volume 27, Issue 5
May 2017

name withheld by request


I’ve been a full-time faculty member for eleven years and part-time teacher for half a decade preceding that. During my tenure, I’ve suffered from Diabetic Related Kidney Disease. Major ailments such as pneumonia or influenza can trip a complete shutdown of renal function. Obviously, I’m scrupulous about receiving inoculations and regularly use sanitizer and frequent hand washing to reduce danger. Still, I recently caught a virulent respiratory infection at school. After prolonged antibiotic treatment and bed rest, I’m back on my feet and currently undergoing a series of blood tests to see how much damage may have occurred to my already frail systems.

I work in relatively close contact with approximately a hundred people in a performance program that involves some physical contact and use of communal microphones, etc. After my recent ailment, I dread getting sick again at my workplace. So many people from so many places with so many external contacts; yesterday, I walked through the hallway and someone inadvertently coughed right in my face. Particularly after the outbreak of Norovirus at North Campus, we need to do more than clean-up the place and install the occasional hand sanitizer units on the occasional wall.

Surely I’m not the only individual who fears the multitude of germs floating around a place like Humber. Students, staff and faculty would be better served by a more complete regime of disinfection and proper hygiene.

On a recent holiday cruise, I noted that nobody was allowed in the dining areas without treating their hands at a sanitizing station at the entrance way. Humber should have a similar program advising (in a stark, obvious directive) all persons to sanitize their hands using the units at the entrances to the building. A college representative should visit every classroom to instruct students to cough/sneeze into their sleeves, wash their hands competently, etc. Each student should also be issued a hand sanitizer at the start of each semester. This would be a much better use of funds, as opposed to what many see as frivolous expenditures in other areas.

Permanent debilitation and hundreds of sick days for both students and teachers could be minimized by taking the same steps that are currently used on family cruise ships where, like Humber, several thousand individuals must be protected.