News, Column, Featured Column

‘Threat Level Midnight’: BC Under Siege By The Stomach Flu

Date: Feb. 20, 2015

Status: Pandemic

Threat level: Midnight

Three Boston College seniors huddle around a small fire as ash and snow fall from the unforgiving night sky. A frigid wind whips cruelly through their makeshift camp in the Stokes Amphitheater, threatening to extinguish their last source of hope, warmth, and life. An orange glow looms in the distance—Gasson burns. All will fall.

Survivor One: I heard Duchesne East totally imploded within hours. Once those hallway bathrooms filled up, the disease spread across the building and up into Hardey. No one made it out.

Survivor Two: My little brother—I told him he should come stay with me, but by the time the Newton Bus finally left … it was already too late. [Breaks down in loud sobs]

Survivor Three: Keep your voice down and hold it together, dude. We’ve all lost someone from this thing—and you damn sure better not forget what’s out there.

Packs of feral, pathogen-resistant freshmen and sophomores roam campus raiding survivors for food and skunked Natty. The Mods are their chosen stronghold.

Survivor One: [Looking around nervously] Thing is … this s—t was no accident. Weaponized. You hearin’ me? Carney basement. The New England Classic’s behind this, they’re working with the Stokes Arsonist to kill us all. The infirmary nurses are in on it too!

Survivor Three: You’re crazy man. They tried to help as many as they coul—

Survivor Two: Uuooaghhh. [Pukes] Oh God, no! [Grabs his stomach and collapses, writhing in pain] It’s got me guys. It’s here. I’m done for.

Survivor One and Three exchange glances. There is no hope for Survivor Two, and he knows it. Survivor Three hands a small, bundled package to Survivor Two. As he flails on the ground, they extinguish the fire, and walk away into the snow.

A single shot rings out in the night.

Spreading via fleas and rats, the Bubonic Plague killed over a third of Europe’s population in the 14th century. Spreading via solo cups and communal bathrooms, BC’s annual plague—which seems to be a fast-acting, gastrointestinal, 24-hour fluish nightmare this year—has taken no lives, but it did make me feel like I was close to the brink of death on Wednesday night before I finally made it to St. Elizabeth’s.

The bug operates viciously and quickly. It’s highly contagious and all over campus. Here’s how you can avoid it and do your part to prevent any post-apocalyptic scenarios from arising.

  1. Avoid using doorknobs and handles—only enter buildings, rooms, and secret lairs through windows, sewer systems, and air ducts from now on.
  2. Burn all potentially contaminated clothing and belongings to prevent further contagion. Or maybe use Lysol.
  3. Conduct an elaborate witch hunt to expose anyone in your hall who you think might be getting sick. Convene a tribunal of your peers and use this as an opportunity to give the nature of their character a full and totally biased workover.
  4. Buy a 35-ounce tub of Cheese Balls and wear the plastic container over your head. Probably poke a hole in the top for filtration. Definitely bag the Cheese Balls and give them to me.
  5. Wash your hands of this mess and move to somewhere where it doesn’t snow a foot every Monday.
  6. Go to CVS and buy water balloons. Fill them with Purell. Throw them at people that look ill or at least sort of unpleasant.
  7. The best defense is a good offense. Get the virus sick before it can get you sick by buying it Wok Away for dinner.
  8. Spread your arms wide in the air and declare “You don’t scare me, feeble disease!” Roar. Historically, viruses are frightened by loud noises and confident people.
  9. Keep hydrated.
  10. Catch a bus to El Paso, Texas, and arrange to be taken across the border. Work your way down through Central America. Find a trusty guide and venture deep into the heart of the Amazon rainforest. Learn about yourself and the nature of love. Return with anecdotes and an antidote. Clean up your roommate’s puke.

Featured Image by Arthur Bailin / Heights Editor

February 9, 2015