Between the headache, fatigue, sneezing, coughing, fever, chills, and the “my head feels like it is drowning in water and snot and now my nose is bleeding from getting blown too frequently,” otherwise known as “severe congestion,” as well as the kindly and informative letter sent out by the University of California at Berkeley, it is quite probable that I have been suffering from swine flu for the past week or so.
I say quite probable because I was actually never diagnosed with swine flu. The University, in all its brokeass-public-institution wisdom, decided to adopt the policy of telling all its sick students that they probably have swine flu and that they should stay the hell away– a policy miles away from the elaborate quarantines set up at all those other universities that have “empty buildings just lying around” and “money”.
After being strongly advised “not to come to the Tang Center” and to try to “cough into [my] sleeve”, I buckled down to the traditional Korean sickbed regimen of rice gruel and barley tea (literally, water with barley boiled in it). And, an occasional Vitamin C drop.
Exactly 7 days later, I’m happy to report that I am mostly recovered from my jaunt into Dateline NBC interview gold, and that swine flu is not all that bad, provided that you don’t respond to early symptoms by going out drinking for the fifth night in a row.
Also, being mercilessly taunted by your boyfriend for contracting one of the most undignified sicknesses ever named by man apparently comes with the territory. Fortunately, he was very easy to give swine flu to, so I guess I win in the end.