People are sick, not COVID-19
Sarah Shelton – Features Editor
While walking around West Campus I hear coughing coming from a lot of rooms. I see everyone all of a sudden ordering tea at Dunkin or making it at Conn Hall. There is a sickness going around that nobody is talking about, but the thing is, it is not the flu and it is not COVID.
Sure, it is normal to get a cold at this time of year, but it seems as everyone is being silent about it due to the COVID-19 pandemic. One of my friends actually went to the university health center for his cold to get help and they sent him all the way home to quarantine. I appreciate the safety precaution, but his COVID-19 test was negative, so then he had to come all the way back a few days later. I even had a sore throat and a cough for a few days, but luckily for me, it was during the days I had online classes and the weekend so I did not have to miss much. Some mornings I still wake up with a sore throat, but it tends to go away after drinking some water..
For a bit, I thought it was just the students in West, because we had a recent problem with our air conditioners, but while looking through my Twitter app I saw a tweet by someone who does not go to the university that said, “did everyone get that weird cold that wasn’t like a cold but also wasn’t covid or the flu?” I have also seen many Tik Toks about it.
A lot of people I know on campus, including myself, have felt sick within the last two weeks and have tested negative for COVID, strep and mono. Like I said before, the common cold is normal for this time of year, but the thing is, we all have the same symptoms: sore throat, cough, and/or respiratory issues. It does not just feel like a small cold, but it also does not feel as severe as COVID-19. Most of us have no fever, no loss of taste or smell, and no stuffy or runny nose, although some mornings I do have a stuffy nose, but it is probably from the cold of the fan in my room. My friend and I even lost our voices for a few days.
A friend of mine pointed out stress lowers immune symptoms and I know a lot of students have been feeling stressed lately, especially during midterms.
College also has been hard on the majority of us students lately, since we went from lockdown to a full blown university experience with in-person classes and meetings. If all of our stress levels are so high, this could be the reason it is spreading so fast as well.
There are other reasons why this is spreading so fast. While going through Tik Tok, a video came on my ‘For You’ Page that caught my attention, since I am a big astrology lover. @Howlitesmovingcastle, who has been studying astrology for a few years, said in a video, “mercury retrograde started September 27 right? And it ended October 18, but we still have the two-week pre and post shadow period and people all over social media have been complaining about a respiratory infection or illness that they that it wasn’t covid or the flu. Now, this is interesting, because everyone has been complaining about this while mercury was in retrograde. Mercury rules over the chest and lungs. We know mercury has adverse effects when it comes to communication…but I feel like we never talk about the effects it may have on our health.”
She made sure to say she is no doctor, but she has noticed many people getting sick during the retrograde and just thinks it is interesting.
Now, this may not be true, but it is cool to think about. Is this mercury retrograde? Is it just seasons changing? I personally believe it is possibly a strain of a cold going around. I think it has been hitting us hard because we have not been sick in a long time because of masks and loackdown. It really took my roommate out for a a week and a half. She developed an ear infection and has been coughing for two weeks now, where as I seemed to only be sick for a few days. I am worried about students not getting help in fear of getting sent home to quarantine for COVID when it is not that and most of campus already has the same symptoms.