It’s become a campus joke. If you cough, complain about a stomachache, or sneeze more than two times in a row, you’ve got it. Stay away. You’re infected. Swine Flu.

Possibly because our own Fairfield community has not been hit with swine flu, we are making the jokes. But seriously guys, swine flu is more than the pig disease…maybe that’s really why they had to give it the name H1N1, so college kids would start taking it seriously. And it’s about time we do, because it is estimated that 91% of colleges are infected by the epidemic. If you’re originally from New York or Pennsylvania, you’ve already been included on the states with rapid influenza growth.

While we have yet to have to take any major action against the swine flu, large colleges across the country have been affected. Cornell University- 7% of the student population is already infected with the problem. Vassar College- if you’re any type of sick, you get to spend recovery quarantined in your dorm, no classes, no dining hall. Emory University- Infected students all live together in one building, often jokingly called the pig pen.

Northeastern University- The same consequence as Emory, but if you remain healthy, perhaps you’d like to attend the epidemic’s themed party. Wearing your favorite pig, doctor, or patient costume, of course. For when the party’s over, both universities are offering jobs to all students as hall monitors in the “Pig Pens” for $10 to $15 dollars an hour.
Schools with fraternities and sororities are even more worried about the rapid growth of swine flu. For starters, the communities live in much closer quarters, and tend to share, well everything.

The other main and much more embarrassing reason for this worry is partying, and more primarily- beer pong. Think about it, getting to a party and signing up to a random list and then using the same cups that people have being playing with for hours. By the end of the night, the cups are germ infested, and you’re drinking out of them, asking for germs.
So now that we’re taking the issue seriously, there are some things we should know and do about the flu.

Things to know:
1. Most H1N1 cases are Type A, which is the type covered in vaccines. So get vaccinated.
2. While the media is not exaggerating the numbers of cases of swine flu, they are going a little overboard on the severity. Mostly if you aren’t suffering from asthma, a heart condition, or some other lung disease, the virus will not have more of an affect on you than the regular flu.
3. Don’t kill your pet pig. Seriously, he didn’t do anything.

Things to do about it:
1. Avoid the pong table- I know it’s going to be hard. But you can do it. You don’t want the new meaning of heating up to refer to your fever.
2. Purrell. All day. Doorknobs and hand railings will get you good.
3. If someone is sick, stay away. It sounds dumb, but hugging your infected friends is a bad idea.
We’ve been lucky enough to escape it so far, let’s keep it that way. Maybe your dorm could be the next pig pen!

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