We live in a world where there are many different people with many different allergies. No matter what allergy a person has, they are made to understand that whatever that food, fabric, or animal is, it can kill them if their allergy is severe enough. As someone with a food allergy, it has been ingrained in my mind from a young age that I should not touch peanuts and peanuts should not touch me. My allergy is slowly getting better, but I am still wary of that little legume. I always carry my Epi-Pen and Benadryl with me in case there is accidental exposure. But never in my life have I been worried about a purposeful exposure.
According to People Magazine, this past week, a student in a fraternity at Central Michigan University was hazed by some of the other members of the house. They knew he had a peanut allergy and decided to spread peanut butter all over his face. He fell asleep and this group of men took it upon themselves to put his life in danger. Luckily he had his Benadryl tablets and Epi-Pen with him and was able to administer medicine before getting to the hospital. The students mother reported that he could have died from this exposure due to the deadly nature of his allergy. The family's lawyer said that, "[the] young man really put his trust and faith into these people that were supposed to be his friends."
So here's the thing: peanut allergies, or allergies in general are no joking matter. And neither is hazing. This student really trusted this group of people and their idea of a joke almost killed him. That is a terrifying thought: that someone you trust, a good, close friend, would put your life in danger because they thought it would be funny. News flash: IT'S NEVER FUNNY.
If you don't know what happens when someone has a severe allergy to anything, I'm going to break it down for you. We go into anaphylactic shock. This means that our throat starts to close and we can't breathe. Our throat closes because literally everything that has been in contact with our allergen swells up. If we don't act quick enough, we die of suffocation. So when these college students rubbed peanut butter all over their friend's face, his whole face swelled up. He experienced anaphylaxis, and let me tell you that isn't fun. You have to tell yourself to stay calm as you attempt to either stab a giant needle in your leg or have someone else do it. You have to take hold of the situation because the likelihood of someone knowing what to do when you're having an allergic reaction is very slim.
So please, please, think about this.
Think about the fact that even though we know what to do in these situations, we don't ever want to have to actually do it. We are scared of the thing that can kill us--SURPRISE SURPRISE.
Unless we know for a fact that the people around us are only joking about using our allergy against us won't ever do that, we can't trust that because there's something in this world that can hurt us.
Please don't ever use someone's allergy against them. Please be a good person. It's pretty simple actually.