Syracuse University has been hit with a mumps epidemic proving very difficult to beat. Strong feelings of paranoia and fear spread across campus. Here are the phases we, as a student body, have experienced while living in a pea tree dish of a mumps-infested university.
1. Denial: Part 1.
When rumors first break that Syracuse University is infested with the Mumps, everyone and anyone laughs at the thought. How could that even be possible? Most of us held a preconceived notion that the mumps was a viral disease only existing in medieval times.
Nope. Additionally, how could any of us contract the mumps, weren’t we all vaccinated prior to our arrival on campus? Yes. Yes, we were. To our dismay, we later find out that indeed the mumps still exists and the virus can mutate to a different strand bypassing the required vaccination.
2. Denial: Part 2.
Students begin to ponder. How could the mumps infest such a well-respected university? There is not a sliver in the realm of possibility that the mumps has infiltrated the bubble on the top of grassy hills of upstate New York that is Syracuse University. Even if the mumps were on campus it’s not like we are a target. We as students decide we will not get the mumps. Our will-power will protect our health and our sanity.
3. Confusion: Part 1.
What are the mumps? What happens to you? How does it spread?
After many google image responses, we discover that the virus gives similar mono-like symptoms except this disease causes one’s face to swell up the size of bowling ball featuring a repulsive looking rash.
The pictures almost resemble a second head growing on one’s face in an unfortunate fashion. The virus is spread through contact of salivary glands as well as kissing. For the wide population of hormonal college students looking to link up with those of the same or opposite sex this was the most concerning of news.
4. Confusion: Part 2.
We received word that the cases of mumps have tripled in an impressive two weeks. Hmm. This is strange. So our school is swarming with the mumps and we are officially vulnerable. Students continue to ponder; don’t we have doctors? If we can send people to the moon we can stop the mumps, correct?
Similar to the Red Scare, paranoia spreads attached to rumors stating that death upon all and infertility among men is imminent when diagnosed with the mumps. Peers call parents and loved ones sharing the tragic news.
Parents respond with less than animated responses understanding that, no, death is not attached to this virus and that it is very well curable. Young males who fail to accept the news that their swimmers are safe sink into a temporary hypnotic state of depression and despair.
Syracuse offers a delayed step to stop the mumps epidemic by offering free booster vaccinations after the virus had exceeded its infestation cap among persons. Classic. Lines of college kids fill auditoriums waiting to receive the vaccine.
Those who have a phobia of needles are forced to face their fears in a very public setting. To the minority of students who fainted after receiving the vaccination, shake it off. At least you don’t have the mumps… yet.
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The school has now capitalized on the mumps epidemic by using it to cancel all Greek life social events advised by the health department of Syracuse. Interesting. Outraged, angry and somewhat personally victimized, those involved in Greek life are taken aback by such extraordinary measures.
The question of how canceling Greek life events would halt the circulation of the mumps is investigated by students. Is this legal? Are the rights of all students involved in Greek life being violated? What can be done through the court system in order to right this injustice?
Students began protest petitions. Alumni and parents were called to stop the madness. Incidentally, this calamity struck the social scene on Halloween, easily the staple weekend of all social weekends.
If the student body of Syracuse can’t even party is there a point to fighting the mumps? What else do we have to lose?
We, as a student body, can find other ways to fight the system and the mumps. If we unite as one and wash our hands using soap and warm water, we can and will defeat this infectious disease.