All over campus students were missing from classes today. Slowly the news seeped out, grapvine borne. One student here, ill. Another student there, stricken. As the morning wore on we began to hear other news by word of mouth. A campus residence hall was, so the rumors murmured, quarintined.
By four o'clock, campus safety sent out a message, urging students to stay calm, avoid mixing if they felt ill, and come to the health center if unpleasant symptoms surfaced. The health center, so the message stated, was working with the county health department to make a diagnosis. Crates of bottled water waited in the lounge of every dorm so that the sick might remain hydrated.
As one gazed around the cafeteria, one was struck by the silence. Ordinarily full tables were now but sparsely occupied. Then they came. The grave-faced men handing out orange slips of paper to everyone in the dining hall, leaving others on tables for those who would come after.
ATTENTION, the slips demand, proceeding to explain that Norovirus is sweeping across the campus, leaving vomiting, nauseated students in its wake. All are to wash hands frequently to "minimize" the "risk of becoming ill." The issuer of this orange bulletin? [----] County Health Department.
It's convenient that this weekend is Parents Weekend. :p