By Kayla Regan ‘17
It’s that time of year again. Attendance is decreasing, students are missing their athletic events and extracurricular activities, and Hamel Health is overflowing with patients. This can only be attributed to one cause: The Merrimack Plague.
OK, well maybe calling it a plague is a little dramatic. But students all over campus are getting sick and passing it onto their friends. With the start of a new semester and overbooked schedules, getting sick is life threatening to students’ academic and social lives. According to Hamel Health, the “stomach bug” is what’s hitting people the hardest. The symptoms include nausea, dizziness, abdominal pain, fever, and loss of appetite.
One student, Daniel Loprete, suffered from the stomach bug recently and he recounted his experience.
“Over the course of a few hours I went from feeling fine to feeling miserable. I was achy, nauseous and exhausted,” Loprete said. “At first I thought it was food poisoning but as soon as my roommate caught it the next day I knew it wasn’t.”
Loprete is one of many who caught the worst of the bug. Students, professors, and faculty have all joked about avoiding contact with one another until the “plague” subsides.
However not everyone was able to joke it off. Student Kathleen Renzi said she was terrified to be around anyone during the stomach bug’s outbreak. She spent more time researching the stomach bug than she did on school work for a week.
“Emetophobia is the fear of throwing up. I consider myself an emetophobiac,” Renzi said. “Once I got wind of how fast the stomach bug was spreading amongst the residents of O’Brien I decided to commute for a week to avoid catching it.”
Luckily, the bug can’t stay on campus forever and there are plenty of ways to avoid getting sick. Taking care of yourself and prioritizing your health is extremely important during this time of year. Sure, skipping class can be fun for a day, but this bug is something that no one wants to be associated with.
Hamel Health offers tips on how to avoid illness this winter.
- Wash or sanitize your hands frequently, especially before you enter dining facilities or after you use the bathroom.
- Avoid physical contact with those who are ill.
- Do not share food or drink.
Photo by Kevin Salem