I Survived the Modern Plague


Gracie Thies, Webmaster and Staff Writer

Students on campus might have noticed a few missing faces throughout these first weeks of classes. The cause of some recent absences may have been the strange and deadly flu-like attacker Viral Gastroenteritis. Something as simple as inflammation of the lining of the stomach can cause unbearable pain and serious nausea.  

Anyone can catch the stomach flu considering it is highly contagious and several different viruses can cause someone to catch it. Possible symptoms include vomiting, headache, fever, chills, and abdominal pain. Dehydration can be another symptom if someone does not drink enough fluids and keep a proper balance of electrolytes. Typically, the virus lasts for one to three days, but it could take longer for the body to return to normal.  

If you need to hear a witness case to the stomach flu in order to avoid it, I thought I’d give a glimpse into the two days that I just so happened to get the ‘plague.’ My case was in a chain of three people. 

Graesyn Dallman, a freshman at Marian, brought the illness back to school with her after babysitting on Saturday, January 20. She became ill that night and some of her symptoms included vomiting, muscle soreness, fever, and the chills. The first remark about it out of her mouth was, “I think I have the plague.” That’s when the Open and Closed sign to our courtyard became a “Beware: Infected with the Plague” sign.  

The following Monday night, freshman Kate Dombrowski fell victim to the illness. Kate began throwing up at around 1:00 AM and quickly acquired all the same symptoms shown by Graesyn. It probably didn’t help that the victims lived in the same courtyard. Some foods that seemed to help make the illness a little less painful and keep the victim as hydrated as possible were Saltine crackers, water, Sprite, and Gatorade.  

As I watched my roommates grumble in pain, I told myself that I wouldn’t catch this plague, but I spoke too soon. Believe those who say the flu glued them to a bed for a week. My roommates got the stomach flu earlier in the week, but I caught it right in the middle of it. I attended one of my classes, and that was a mistake—let’s just say I should’ve stayed in my room. An hour after the class, I was found back at my courtyard, barely moving, or much less, breathing.  

Three different beverages, a trash can, and Netflix were my best friends. The first day was undoubtedly the worst. Going without most foods for a while felt like the only way things started to look up. During the first week of school I had to miss two days of classes, and people started to ask if I dropped any of them. My reply was always “No, I just got the plague.”  

About four days later I started to feel more like myself and could start eating normal foods again, for the most part. I tried to avoid the food at the café for as long as possible until my bank account told me no more.  

Take the stomach flu and influenza seriously because there’s no way of telling how hard they could hit you, especially this year when the flu is so widespread and dangerous. These viruses are highly contagious, and at the very least, they could hurt schoolwork. Steer clear of anyone who thinks they might be getting sick and rest up if you think you’re coming down with something. Wash your hands often, cover your coughs, take lots of vitamins, and isolate from any unwanted germs. This is not a drill, I tell you. This is not a drill.