Pig Tales: An Anthology

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Ever since the first wave of H1N1 cases and confusion erupted several weeks ago, Bwog’s Eager Epidemic Investigators have been collecting stories of how individual and institution alike are coping with the crisis. Bwog hopes this anthology will help to sooth the minds of all those who fear the unknown.

Rescue Me

A sophomore English and Film Studies major living in Wien relates a particularly dramatic story beginning two weeks ago with what he calls a “sudden and inexplicable fever.” He reports that his initial reaction was, appropriately, “sudden and inexplicable panic.” After a nurse at Health Services failed to relieve his fears with a diagnosis of “that’s not good,” our hero contemplated the possibility that he could “die in his Wien single and no one would find his corpse for a week.”

After St. Luke’s hospital deemed his illness a “highly potential” case of the swine flu, the student’s lonely quarantine lasted mere hours before his “neurotic Jewish mother flew 3,000 miles to nurse him back to health” in a room booked at Teachers College. As he disentangles himself from the pile of missed novels and films, the valiant recovery of our friend demands an occasional cab ride from 124th St. back to campus and long-sleeved attire to cover what appear to be track marks where a St. Luke’s nurse struggled to find a vein. Scars mental and physical aside, this Pig Tale leaves behind the happy burden of a new-found addiction to hand sanitizer and vitamin C cough drops that, given any luck, might soon infect us all.

The Home Isolation Packet

Confirmed sightings of the Home Isolation Packet have been reported as far back as three weeks ago, when a John Jay student reported being diagnosed with “flu-like symptoms” by Health Services. Quarantined to her room until 24 hours after the demise of the fever, she was also given a packet including Purell, Tylenol, disposable thermometers, and a list of symptoms to watch for like dizziness or breathing problems. What she received is as of yet the earliest known ancestor of the now captured creature, formally known as The Home Isolation Kit, seen dissected below.

The student who later provided us with this intact specimen reports that about two weeks ago, after reporting his symptoms to Health Services, was given the packet and told to stay in his Schapiro single where he would receive meals. He received only one meal, and the next day Health Services returned his nervous phone call saying that he “probably” only had seasonal flu; if his symptoms had subsided he could return to daily life. He and our John Jay friend both recovered quickly, she quickly enough to have dinner with a visiting boyfriend and return to Varsity practice just a few days later.

Confined To Carman

When the first food-delivery came for our third invalid earlier this week, a gracious roommate answered. The deliverer wore “some sort of Columbia get-up” according to the good Samaritan, but no mask or gloves despite the dangers of his job. The bag he delivered, shown at right, contained a turkey sandwich, fruit, some cereal and milk, and Campbell’s Chicken Noodle. Though the turkey sandwich has been the staple of isolation meals from the beginning, the food delivery phone line indicated on the bag is apparently new.

Having availed himself of this and many other H1N1-related amenities offered by Health Services, our Carman-bound source now describes the team combating the swine flu as an “incredibly talented group.” The doctor who examined him, he says, “could even write fluently upside down and right to left.” Oddly, after the printed results of tests showed a positive for Mononucleosis, a doctor scratched out the result and told our source that he definitely did not have Mono or Strep. He was not, as far as he knows, tested for H1N1 or the Classic Flu. Despite negative tests, a dry erase board on the suite’s door warns fellow students of the danger within. Despite the warning, our source has been inundated with rubberneckers since his quarantine began.

– ESN, with reporting by CCS, PPK, DCH, and SNC

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  1. WTF  

    ladybug infestation in the east-facing rooms of EC. close your windows, people!!

  2. impressed  

    the new culpa looks really great.

  3. whatever

    I had H1N1 in August. I slept, drank a lot of water, used over the counter-medicine, and didn't drink alcohol or exercise, and I was fine.

  4. Also  

    I'm pretty sure the panic wasn't inexplicable if he thought he had the flu.

  5. H1N1  

    is no more contagious or deadly than any other kind of flu. 36,000 people die in the United States from the common flu every year. Calm down - if you have a reasonably healthy immune system (i.e. you're not over 70) you will be fine.

    • immuno student  

      While I completely agree with you that we really shouldn't be afraid of H1H1 because it honestly isn't as "deadly" as seasonal flue (meaning the numbers aren't nearly as bad). However, the strange and potentially scary thing about H1N1 is that it has the ability to take down and even kill young, otherwise healthy individuals. When we talk about having a strong immune system, in particular juxtaposed to infants and the elderly, we are talking about the innate immune system response, which is the less effective 72 hour initial hour response before we've synthesized enough antibody to really fight the infection. H1N1 is cruising right past the innate response. In fact, because they think there were small outbreaks of swine flu in the past (around 50-60 years ago), the elderly will fight the virus faster than most of us, because they have that store of H1N1 specific antibody in their memory cells.

      I can't believe I just procrastinated in the nerdiest way possible.

  6. suckers  

    barnard gives unlimited snackables to those with the swine

  7. senor swine  

    Everyone needs to stop saying pejorative things about people who have contracted H1N1. No one is faking it or freaking out, but having to go to C.U. urgent care where everyone is slumped over in the waiting room for an hour and a half wearing face masks is not exactly the most comforting thing to witness and be a part of. It also is suspicious that Columbia Health Services don't seem to be even testing for swine flu, which leads me to believe that they are just trying to cover their asses and avoid being another statistic. But a very kind nurse did give me gatorade when I came in on Wednesday with a fever of 102; though no one thought to give me tylenol or anything to bring my fever down but still nice effort, right?

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