Ah, the month of September has come to a close. It’s been a somewhat eventful (or uneventful) 30 days. We each came back to school, a year closer to adulthood. For some, our first step into high school life. Gotta give a shoutout to those freshmen there 😉
We have now survived our first month of what is considered a prison to some. Well done. Clap. Clap. Throughout this month we have chosen and adjusted to our new schedules, made new friends, rekindled with some old ones, and for many of us, set goals to accomplish in this new year. Some are planning their Halloween costumes now. And for 20 students at Nova High School during week #2: catching a cold.
I was one of these students. And trust me, I did not particularly enjoy my week off (surprisingly). I felt so miserable I couldn’t even focus on entertaining myself with computers and iPhones like usual. Thus, my experience was quite boring.
I may as well explain my story in more detail. It started on a Thursday when I woke up with a sore throat. Nothing too terrible, though it hurt to speak. I initially thinking this was just a one day thing, shrugged it off and went to school as per usual. Other than being mute all day, things went normal. That Thursday was actually my first day in Debbie’s NovaKnows class. There’s your fun fact of the day kids. By 9PM that night however, I knew I wasn’t coming back to school the next day.
I spent Friday, the weekend and the entire following week, including its weekend confined to a bed. And trust me when I say that it was not fun whatsoever. I pretty much had a sore throat, cough, runny nose, fever and headache all wrapped up in one big bow. Sadly a gift receipt was not included. I appreciate my dog Zoey for staying by my side the entire time, but she couldn’t do much to keep me entertained besides sleep and assault my face with a thousand licks per second.
I’ve gotten sick plenty of times in the past, just like everyone else does. My history ranges from the common cold to whooping cough. The thing with me getting sick for whatever reason is that when I go down, I go down hard. Colds always had a thing for smacking me hard, and they always linger around. The current record is from 4th Grade when I had a sinus infection. Lasted from Thanksgiving to New Years Eve. Coughing up mucus in front of the entire class: not one of my proudest moments. Just like my previous colds, this recent one hit me hard and lingers around. It’s whittled down to just a runny nose and a really annoying cough now, but like I just said, annoying.
While I’ve been deemed well enough to attend school again (the judges being an impatient Mother and an annoyed me), I’m still being careful at this moment. During my week out I saw a news report or two talking about a virus that’s been hospitalizing kids left and right. Mom briefly theorized that this was what I had, but with little actual evidence, 0 doctor appointments and her history of crazy whacked out stuff (she wanted to be Godzilla’s Waifu at one point) that pops into her head, I don’t think this woman is the best resource. Still, the topic intrigued me a bit.
And that’s how I got here: sitting in the computer lab typing this article while listening to Vocaloid music.
Enough about my experience, it’s time for the actual news. Like mentioned earlier, I saw the news talking about a massive virus going around right now. During my research for this article, this bug had a few name variations; the full name though being “Human Enterovirus D68”. Try saying that 5 times fast.
I interviewed several Nova Students and even a few staff members. I printed out 20 sheets of questions to be exact. And the response was quite underwhelming: I only got 4 back. Wow Nova. Just, wow. Not satisfied with this lack of response, I went and interviewed some people in person, using my phone as a recorder. Sadly the battery decided that it hates me today, draining itself to 50% just for doing nothing. Amazing, huh? So I only managed to get 4 interviews in before I decided to stop before the thing dies on me. Slow Clap.
So only having the opinions of 8 people to go off of, what information do I have to share? Before I answer my own question I feel that I need to put up this disclaimer:
Nova, it is your fault I can’t write an informative article on your own website. So if what I put in the next section is dumb or lacks any information for this article to benefit from, you only have yourselves to blame. It’s all your fault.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s look at the responses we did get.
Borderline everyone had little to no knowledge about this virus. A good amount straight up never heard of it, which baffled me quite a bit. I’m guessing this microscopic population of our school just hasn’t been watching the news lately, but it’s still baffling to me.
Next interesting tidbit being the section of the interview asked if the person or someone they know had gotten sick recently. Little less than half said yes, telling stories about their younger siblings, friends and one even went into great detail about their sick cat. Okay I lied about that last one lol.
After the questions had all been satisfied, I would then tell the person some facts and bits of information about our friend D68. And now it’s all of you guy’s turn.
For those who don’t know, Human Enterovirus D68 was first identified in 1962 California, but has rarely been seen ever since. This gave doctors and health officials very little ground work to build on in preparation for the current outbreak. An outbreak that has hospitalized hundreds of children in 22 states in less than a month. Like, seriously. Reports released back on the 11th only claimed that the virus has taken over 10 states. In such a short time the finger climbed pretty far. This is due to how highly contagious this thing is, spreading person to person via coughing, sneezing and by touching infected surfaces. A common method, but definitely an effective one. This virus’ main target is children, ranging from infants to age 18. The most susceptible are patients with respiratory conditions such as Asthma. These people as well as children ages 5 and under could have a fatal experience with this thing. After all, everyone’s just getting back to school; it’s a germy playground right now. And thanks to the limited previous experience, there really isn’t much of any vaccine or cure right now.
Enterovirus 68 likes to mimic the common cold at first, with symptoms including fever, runny nose, sneezing, coughing and body and muscle aches. However, despite initial perceptions, the virus can quickly become severe, adding wheezing and difficulty breathing to the mix. It’s no wonder asthmatic children can find this deadly. Thankfully no one has died yet, though according to several news reports across the country, a couple kids did come close.
So what can the Nova community do about this outbreak? Well, pretty much the basics of hygiene and disease prevention: cover coughs and sneezes, keep a safe distance from those showing symptoms, stay home when sick. And goodness, for the love of everything that is holy, wash your hands. Often.
Personally I see this as a golden opportunity to snatch one of those scented hand sanitizers at Bath&BodyWorks with a really cute rubbery animal case. I kinda hate how regular hand sanitizers smell. It’s a punch to the face if you ask me. But i’m getting off topic.
Let us hope this doesn’t take us out. Stay healthy my friends 😉
Note: all featured images are from Google
September Calendar: http://www.free-2014-calendar.com/2014-calendar-september.html
Coughing Girl: https://www.parentmap.com/article/staying-informed-and-healthy-enterovirus-d68-and-illness-prevention-in-kids
Enterovirus D68: http://www.ktvz.com/news/enterovirus-may-have-reached-central-oregon/28154358
Protection Instructions: http://chesco.org/index.aspx?NID=2793
Hand Washing: https://gigaom.com/2013/04/04/surgical-gaming-and-handwashing-police-5-blueprint-health-startups-to-watch
Bath and Body Works Hand Sanitizers: http://www.viewpoints.com/Bath-Body-Works-Antibacterial-Hand-Sanitizing-Gels-reviews