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Doctors and health officials have called the 2017-18 flu season one of the worst on record, the illness seemingly hitting the whole United States at once and spreading quickly and sometimes fatally.
You watch the public health crisis unfold on the nightly news and spotting students wearing respiratory masks as you walk by the on-campus health center. You're doing homework one day when suddenly, you become part of the influenza narrative. Here's what happens when a student gets the flu.
1. You're out one night with friends. A friend offers you a sip of their drink. Sure is tasty.
2. The next day, you find out that friend has fallen ill with the flu. No worries; you feel fine. You take some Emergen-C and forget about it.
3. The next day, you seem to be getting a cold. It gets worse as you're sitting in class, but no big.
4. You're doing some required reading the next day, and you realize you're having trouble concentrating, even though the reading is actually quite interesting. But your nose isn't as stuffy anymore - win!
5. But what's this? You suddenly can't tell if you're hot or cold. Your head hurts a bit. Oh well, you keep reading, albeit slowly.
6. Suddenly, it feels like you're on fire.
7. You check your temperature. Yup, definitely a fever.
8. You try to keep reading, but your head is beginning to hurt. Things are getting a little blurry.
9. As usual, you watch the news. As usual, David Muir talks about all the people who have died during this year's flu epidemic. Usually, this makes you sad. Tonight, it makes you scared.
10. You call the clinic across the street, to see if they're taking walk-ins. They are - estimated wait time: three hours.
11. Instead, you take some Nyquil and go to bed. Maybe you'll feel better in the morning.
13. You get a ride to the clinic - your mind is too fuzzy to even complete a five-minute drive.
14. Congratulations - you have the flu!
15. You almost pass out while waiting for your Tamiflu at the pharmacy - everything hurts.
16. You realize just how many obligations you have as you email the doctor's note - No work or school all week - to all the people that you'll be letting down as you get better.
17. You take your Tamiflu and Nyquil and fall asleep - thank God for blackout curtains.
18. You wake up and look at the book you hadn't finished the night before. You feel guilty for a second, but then you go back to sleep.
19. You wake up again with the worst headache of your life. You cry for a bit and then put a bag of frozen veggies against your head and go back to sleep.
20. You wake up again and suddenly it's morning. You feel a little better. You get out of bed. You feel a lot worse. Stupid headache. Back to bed.
21. You read a little more of the book that's on your bedside table. Your headache gets worse.
22. You go into the kitchen to get some water. The non-bedroom parts of the house are beginning to look foreign to you. Also, the dog has knocked over the trashcan. The smell of garbage + bending down to sweep everything up makes you want to puke up all the food you haven't eaten the past few days.
23. You repeat these steps for a couple more days (luckily, without any more trashcan mishaps).
24. Finally, you wake up one morning actually wanting food. You walk to the kitchen and make yourself breakfast. You don't feel like you've been hit by a freight train.
25. You still might be contagious for a day or two, so you still don't leave the house. That's okay, you have plenty of schoolwork to catch up on. You find it's easier to get work done - you don't know if it's the time crunch or the fact that you're well-rested for the first time in, like, two years.
26. You're not excited to lose sleep over school again, but you're ready to get out of the house - to campus you go! You hope you remember how to drive.
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.