Swine flu

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In 2009 (aka swine '09 or the year of the swine) H1N1 infected Duke East. Almost everyone got some form of the disease, although some only got it in some form of a cold. Those with fevers were quarantined in Giles where they had no threshold rules, no visitation policies, no cell phone hours, and a "midnight" bedtime (I was in Giles, and we stayed until 4 AM some nights, with nurses coming in periodically to check on us.). They had to stay there either until 7 days after first symptoms or 24 hours after their last symptoms, whichever was longer.

The TiPsters in quarantine suffered from extreme boredom, and were all tripping on Tamiflu, so they had many marvelous games of 'How Many Sick Kids Can You Fit On A Couch?' and watched a lot of movies.

The TiPsters out of quarantine suffered severely from empathy and felt a deep sense of loss at losing other TiPsters. We were infuriated by how much was made of it, especially since almost nobody who had the swine flu was actually sick after a couple days. We were devastated by the tearing apart of our RAGs and whined loudly and often. To TiPsters at Duke East in 2009, especially term 2 TiPsters, that year will go down as the official worst year of TiP ever.

Duke West on the other hand, just heard a lot about how sick the kids on East were and how we should never come in contact with them. There was one confirmed case of Swine Flu on Duke West, but it happened on the last night and not much was made of it.

During Term 2, TIPsters caught with symptoms were first isolated on the first floor of Brown, and, if symptoms persisted, were sent to West after 24 hours. They were tested for the flu and sent home if their results came back positive. Eventually enough cases of swine flu occurred that TIP at East was shut down halfway through the term.

The first cases of swine flu were contracted by John Vaughn and Mat Grossman. Both were sent home, then cam back a week later. The first people to truly call Giles home for a week were the original six: Wesley Evans, Scotty Willis, Alex Busby, Eliza Rothstein, Irene, and Dan Rothman. These were people that got the late comers a couch, tv, dvd player, nurses, a fridge and everything else. By the time the others started showing up, they went and secluded themselves in Eliza's room, and ate ice cream cake and watched netflix all day.

At least all the horrific separation and term 2 ending did attract some attention. We now have yet another claim to fame: During the year 2009, Duke East was the most concentrated "outbreak" of swine flu in the country.

The ending of the term and the sending home of hundreds of carriers of swine flu, spreading them across the country and even to other continents, on airplanes, was possibly the worst idea anyone has ever had. Well done CDC.

Davidson 09

Also remember that Duke East was not, in fact, the only campus to be infected with swine flu. Davidson Term II somehow spread the disease around as well. A room close to the stairwell in the basement was converted into the room in which authority figures sat on duty taking temperatures. This room was dreaded because if you even appeared sad or had a headache, you were viewed as Possibly Ill and sent in to get your temperature taken. The number of thermometer covers used at Davidson 09 is still unknown.

~Memoir of a Survivor~ In the second week, we were all paranoid, and our teachers had to inform us that we could leave at any point and be refunded tuition for the time we missed. Nobody wanted to do that, of course, though some parents cruelly snatched their kids from camp on the grounds that swine flu was seriously dangerous (TiPsters didn't buy that one bit; we all knew that one could only be at medical risk if they contracted it and had a weak immune system, or were very old or young). RC groups diminished in size, and one group in the basement that started out with an estimated 14 people was downsized to four due to early departures and contracted swine cases. This group had a space on the butcher paper-covered wall that had the door signs of all of their "fallen soldiers".

Around Tuesday or Wednesday of the third week, I myself developed serious symptoms. I woke up one day with a splitting headache and was dizzy whenever I walked. When we were watching a movie in Debate, I was freezing cold and asked my friend Brenna to lend me her jacket, though apparently the rest of the room's occupants found it blistering hot. At lunch, I felt a little better and dared to procure for myself some delicious ice cream from Davidson's soft serve machine in lieu of a meal. It was cozily warm outside and I nommed it eagerly. Upon going to the computer lab to resume class after lunch, I developed serious chills. I was absolutely freezing! During a break, I emailed a friend about my developing symptoms, who quickly emailed me back to urge me to get taken to QuaranTiP, which was the absolute last thing I wanted to do. However, after complaining about the bitter cold to the boy sitting next to me, he felt my forehead and declared me to be "on fire," ordering me to get my temperature taken in the basement.

I went to the basement and got my temperature taken. It was 100.6 degrees, I think. The authority figure at the desk made regretful clucking sounds and got one of her subordinates to usher me to QuaranTiP (wearing a mask; it made me feel like a biohazard). I wasn't even allowed to pack up my stuff. In QuaranTiP, I sat in a chair (the sofa was occupied) and was delivered a meal, which consisted of the grossest possible options Davidson could have offered to sick children. I didn't touch it. Instead, I brought up another chair and curled up on the double chair "couch" and fell asleep while watching Oprah. I was awakened and offered a room in which to stay, and I curled up on that bed (after a woman laid two sheets on it) and cried myself to sleep. I was devastated with facing my untimely departure. My mom came to pick me up two hours or so later (she told me she spent at least an hour packing up my belongings and lugging them to the car; I wasn't allowed back in the dorm after my condemnation). As I walked to the parking lot, I saw my debate class assembling. I returned Brenna her sweatshirt by throwing it from a distance. She yelled, "Thanks for getting swine flu all over it!" I proceeded to cry openly as my debate class saluted me and exclaimed a goodbye. My mother opened the car door, I stepped in, and thus my term at TiP was concluded.