Didn’t your mom teach you to wash your hands?
My duties as a janitor at Frontier Hall are pretty standard. Clean the bathrooms, vacuum the hallways, take out the garbage from the closets, etc. However, at the beginning of April, I was given a new task, along with other student employees at Frontier: spray every surface, including sinks, handrails, and doorknobs with disinfectant. The reason? Frontier, along with the other dorms in Superblock, experienced a norovirus outbreak, with over thirty cases of the virus in Frontier alone.
There are rumors on how the virus started. There are even questions on whether the virus is norovirus or a similar virus. All that is known is that a lot of freshmen got sick and that Housing and Residential Life is doing its best to keep the facilities clean and safe for students surrounded by the illness.
With this as well as similar cases happening on other campuses, it is important to realize that, even in a university where studying and partying may very well be the highest priorities, we need to be aware of our physical and mental health as well.
Though we are unsure on how the breakout started, if it is norovirus, it spreads through the vomit or fecal matter of infected people. This means that an infected person could “use” the public bathroom stall then touch the doorknob without washing his hands, thus leaving others to touch the doorknob and become susceptible to the disease.
Even in a university where studying and partying may very well be the highest priorities, we need to be aware of our physical and mental health as well.
As such, with finals week in the not too distant future, we should all keep our bodies healthy during the last few weeks of the school year. Whether it is by working out at the rec or by eating and drinking well, maintaining our bodies’ health is essential.
For the superblock freshmen: Make sure you stay healthy, wash your hands, and make the last few weeks of your first year some great ones.