The past few days have been tumultuous to say the least at the least here at the University of Vermont. Just look at our inboxes. On Tuesday, we got this from Jon Porter, M.D., Director of the Center for Health and Wellbeing (my Apple Mail labeled it as junk):
In the past 24 hours approximately 24 students have consulted UVM Health Services for gastroenteritis, an illness characterized by symptoms of nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. University of Vermont officials — in close collaboration with the Vermont Department of Health — are in the process of investigating the cause and tending to the immediate needs of our student body.
Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea? Sounds like Friday evening, Friday night, and Saturday morning at college. That happens like, 2400 times in 24 hours at UVM, Doctor Porter.
By Wednesday, we were about to make a run on Brooks (agh, Rite Aid) for all the Pepto-Bismol we could find, but our inboxes had other plans. This time from a Mr. Garry Derr at Police Services:
Since October 17th 2008, during the early morning hours, numerous incidents of a male subject looking into windows and entering into residences have occurred in and around the neighborhood of UVM’s Trinity Campus. Trinity Campus is located off from Colchester Avenue in the city of Burlington. Several screens and/or windows in the area were found to have been tampered with.
Additionally, an incident of unlawful entry also occurred in a residence around the area west of the campus in the city of Burlington on 10/21/08.
Oh, Great! Now we're really screwed. Not only are we all going to be vomiting our brains out, but our screens and/or windows are going to be tampered with too!
Then, Wednesday evening, another twist in the plot. Something to say, Dr. Porter?
Thus far, approximately fifty students have made contact with us over the last 36 hours.
Fifty?! Maybe the guy who has been tampering with all our screens and/or windows is clandestinely passing along a secret vomit-diarrhea-puking virus. But wait! Can't we get some advice on how to deal with this menace? Mr. Derr of the UVM 5-0?
-Lock your doors and windows at all times
-Draw your window shades at night and when privacy is needed
-Never allow unauthorized persons into the residential halls
-Report suspicious persons or circumstances immediately to UVM Police @ 656-3473 or 911
Yes. Excellent advice. Oh, and I assume you have something to add, Dr. Porter.
In the meantime, we recommend the following precautions:
-Regular hand washing
-Avoid sharing utensils or glasses
-Seek medical advice if you become ill
Thanks guys. And we all thought it was a good idea to sleep in flu-infected sheets with the front door wide open. We appreciate your concern for our health and safety, but give us some credit, okay?