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MIT student blogger Snively '11

*Oink Oink* by Snively '11

Nobody panic!

Several weeks ago a kid, a sophomore on my floor, contracted a strand of influenza that was tested to be neither A or B. Flu season hasn’t actually started, so the verdict? Probably H1N1. Wonderful. MIT Medical gave him a blue mask, had him spend the night, and sent him back to live with us. A couple of days later a kid in my suite had similar symptoms, went to MIT Medical, and returned with a blue mask. Soon a girl in my suite was blue-masked, then another guy in my suite appeared one day with a blue mask. As of today, ~4 people living within 50 feet of me had some form of flu, most likely H1N1.

This is what I look like today.

Wonderful. I suppose it was only a matter of time, but now I’m running a fever of 101, my stomach is hating me, and I keep getting chills. MIT Medical isn’t actually testing for H1N1, so there’s no way to know if I have it, but considering all the likely cases I’ve been around, I’m feeling pretty piggish right now.

So, how’s MIT dealing with the H1N1 “issue?” There are signs all over campus telling people to wash hands, be clean, and avoid class if you have flu like symptoms. MIT Medical has sent several e-mails to the entire campus telling them symptoms and how to react if you exhibit them. They even have a website deemed “Flu Central“, which is where I went to figure out what to do. I called a phone number they listed, they told me what steps I should take (self-quarantine, Tylenol/ibuprofen, fluids, rest, etc), told me how long it’d last (~4 days), how long the cough would last (~2 weeks), and told me to avoid class.

Skip class!? At MIT!? Absolutely, especially with my bio professor co-chairing Obama’s Council on Science and Technology. We’re threatened daily with horrible and gruesome consequences if we come to class with the flu. In order to prevent everybody from skipping and in order to allow people to reschedule exams (like my exam on Friday potentially), the Dean of Student Life sends a list of flu cases to Student Support Services and then students can e-mail professors.

So for now it’s up to me to just hydrate, chill (literally and figuratively), and wait for this to go away.


34 responses to “*Oink Oink*”

  1. Liz ('14?) says:

    I didn’t realize how quickly things could spread on college… I hope you feel better soon!

  2. '14 hoping says:

    ooooh, missing MIT classes, that should be strange…

    get well soon michael!!

  3. Tim says:

    Hope you’ll feel better..
    What kind of mask is that?

  4. makesense says:

    When I saw that picture I couldn’t help but laugh…I didn’t get a super-cool mask when I had flu! And the description of how long it lasts I know to be almost perfectly accurate.

  5. Anonymous says:

    @ ’14 hopeful

    You can’t MISS something you have not even ever experienced!!

  6. Ehsan says:

    I wonder where the first one got it from…

  7. F-13 says:

    I wouldn’t worry too much. Even with all the hype and paranoia and fear and loathing the world is giving H1N1, I don’t really think it’s THAT serious (considering the deaths relative to number of people who DID get it)…

  8. AnotherMom says:

    @ A Parent: Don’t worry. As a parent of a MIT student with an underlying respiratory condition I felt very comfortable with the care that my child received from MIT Medical. Tamiflu was given immediately because of the potential risk. Others in the dorm w/o underlying medical condition were given the same advice as Snively (who I trust is taking lots of Vitamin C, drinking plenty of fluids, and getting rest). Hope all of you feel better soon. MIT has an excellent plan in place.

  9. oasis '11 says:

    That’s a N95 mask. Standard issue during the SARS epidemic in Asia.

    So many people are becoming sick that it’s scary. A few days ago, I felt the initial symptoms coming on, so I dressed really heavily and slept for 11 hours in a warm room. Now I’m fine…I hope I now have H1N1 antibodies raspberry

  10. Mom says:

    So sorry bud…care package enroute. We’ll chat soon! Sleep, liquids, and good ol vitamin C please!

  11. So, are overnight visits at MIT still all, H1N1 notwithstanding?

  12. Michael….get a lot of rest, if possible. Take lots of Vitamin C, and think good thoughts. Care package on the way. Love you, Grandma

  13. Snively says:

    @Applicant Parent

    Funny you should ask. Yesterday I got an e-mail asking me to host a prefrosh but decided that he probably didn’t want to be led around MIT by somebody with H1N1 so I turned down the chance.

    It looks like the overnight program is still active, but people with H1N1 should probably turn down requests.

    James Ray, if you’re reading this, sorry I can’t be your host, but trust me, I wouldn’t be much fun quarantined in my room.

  14. Quinton says:

    Snively….The “panic” link is nuts. Thank you for the laughs. Sorry to hear that you are feeling swiney.

  15. Piper '12 says:

    Gah, the plague! I hope you feel better.

    Thankfully, it hasn’t reached my hall… yet.

  16. bolstein says:

    get well soon Snively smile

    greetings from NZ

  17. Anonymous says:

    I hope you feel better.I just want to say something though,you’re really funny.

  18. leilani says:

    i hope that you’ll feel better soon :D

  19. Awww, that sucks. :( I got swine flu a few weeks back… Get well soon!

  20. Anonymous says:

    It’s hilarious, if real, that your mom and grandmother blogged! Get well soon.

  21. A Parent says:

    Why were you not offered Tamiflu by MIT Medical?

  22. Snively says:

    @A Parent
    According to Flu Central:

    MIT Medical has adequate supplies of Tamiflu and Relenza (the other antiviral drug that can be used for treating the H1N1 flu) for patients with severe illnesses or with medical conditions that put them at risk for serious complications from the flu. These are the only groups of patients for whom antiviral treatment is recommended.

    As part of emergency preparedness planning, MIT also has sufficient stores to deal with a surge of more severe flu cases. The state and federal governments also maintain large stockpiles of Tamiflu, and MIT Medical can tap these resources if we need additional doses.

  23. Keri says:

    More @ A Parent: MIT Medical’s operating under guidelines from the CDC to give Tamiflu primarily to the patients above if they come in experiencing flu-like symptoms. These guidelines are largely the same for the upcoming vaccine, with some additions – for example, it’s recommended that everyone under the age of 25 get vaccinated for H1N1 since the symptoms tend to be more severe in younger patients (a departure from most seasonal flus).

  24. Lydia AK says:

    Wow, it must be amazing to have professors that play such active roles in, well, everything.

    So many people are falling sick around college campuses, and there’s no way of knowing if it’s swine flu or not. A few weeks ago people were coughing so much in my organic chem class that it was hard to hear the professor….

    Get well soon! =(

  25. HmmHmm says:

    Can those pretty blue masks even filter the size of a virus?

  26. Y. Levins says:

    why don’t you try the hula-hula dance?

  27. sauza says:

    you should have worn the bandanna for the picture.

  28. Kevin M. says:

    That photograph of you with the mask on is hilarious. You have a look that simply says “Really?…” the blue mask looks like a wonderful accessory too. Think of it as a necklace? Or maybe something to be decorated?

  29. Photon says:

    Spline flu: when you’re trying to fit data points and suffer from high-degree polynomials.

    Hope the bacon lung/oinking cough/hamthrax/aporkcalypse/flying pig disease goes away soon!

  30. Dizzle '09 says:

    Aww, kids! I’m so sad that I’m not there to take care of all of you in your newly porcine states. Drink lots of fluids, okay? :(

  31. Lauren says:

    Awww, too bad about getting sick Snively. Hope you feel better soon!

  32. Ugg I didnt realize this happened to campuses across the country. Here in GT we have a similar epidemic. My little blue mask hangs on my bed post. :(

  33. Mom out west says:

    Michael- hope you’re feeling better/well.
    Stupid riddle to cheer you up, I hope-
    What’s the diff between bird flu and swine flu?
    For one you need tweetment, for the other, you need oinkment.