March 2013
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#Glarpocalypse or #McPlague???

Like a wildfire, illness spreads around a college campus like an unstoppable force. Another unstoppable force though is a virus that doesn’t have many cures. And now, thanks to social media, rumors can spread even faster than the truth.

Tuesday night after dinner, far too many people for it to be a regular flu ended up sick all over campus. Facebook and Twitter roared with rumors of food poisoning. Wednesday morning the Wellness Center sent a campus e-mail to everyone saying it was a very specific type of stomach flu and for everyone to stay calm but take precautions.

To make a long story short, let’s just say I have never lysol-ed more things in my entire life. I am far too busy to be put down by a vicious virus. Dehydration and other symptoms caused the healthy to become the care takers. I took the role of sanitizing my apartment multiple times of day. Two of my roommates received the virus. One during the first wave on Tuesday and the second in the second wave around Thursday night. The second wave of people were mostly people that had been taking care of the others.

I did my best to stay healthy and stay clear of anyone who could have been carrying the virus and left campus for the weekend. Luckily, I had already planned to go home this weekend to work a charity event for the theatre in my hometown. I keep seeing Facebook statuses of people getting sick or the formerly ill people taking care of the newly infected ones. “#McPlague” has now begun trending through the McDaniel community.

My hope is that the virus has run it’s course by the time I get back to campus. I would hate to think leaving campus didn’t actually help. Being that we all live in such close quarters, it is easy for viruses to spread. Thankfully, McDaniel does a very good job of keeping full hand sanitizer dispensers available near most doors. Outbreaks like this in illnesses very rarely happen on campus. When they do, it is very hard to escape them. However, the Wellness Center and Campus Safety, along with the Residence Life staff makes sure that if a student comes down with a serious illness, they are well taken care of. Res Life was offering bagged meals of bland foods for people recovering from the illness. Campus Safety was there for anything we needed and the Wellness Center even extended their hours till midnight in case anyone would need to go to them.

As bad as this flu could have been, the campus community came together to fight it and we are all well on our way to recovery. Fingers crossed that I stay a care taker and not a victim of the virus. I will be very glad when spring comes and illness is no longer on my radar screen. For now, I’ll just buy more Lysol wipes.

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