Friday, June 19, 2009

Is Swine Flu Winding Down at the MTC?: I Don't Think So

On Monday, 15 June 2009 Elder Drew Swainston reported:

Swine Flu is still a huge issue here and we still can't shake hands or play basketball. There are about 50 people in quarantine still and that lasts for about 10 days (quarantine). There is an Elder on our floor who was in quarantine since the day I got here. He said it was the most boring experience ever. He just sat and read or sat and stared at the wall.
On Tuesday 16 June 2009 Elder Daniel Brown tells us:

The hardest thing in the MTC is avoiding the Swine Flu! My district is dropping like flies, it seems like every morning another Elder or two is down for the count. My entire zone is now on TamiFlu, so it is unlikely that I will get it now. The church found some secret supply of vaccines so now they are handing them out like candy. Unfortunately, I read the side effects of the drug. 70% of the control group experienced violent diarrhea. That is kind of a bummer. The doctor who gave us the pills (I'm quite convinced he wasn't even a real doctor) told us not to read the instructions because it would make us scared! Quite funny, oh well. I'll take that over being quarantined for a week. I can't afford being out of the classroom for that long, I will fall behind way too fast.

On Wednesday 17 June 2009 a missionary reported to his family:

This has been a very interesting week. First and foremost, my companion has swine flu. He has been in quarantine for 4 days, but will get out tomorrow. He and 2 other Elders in my district tested positive. I was tested, but I'm fine. All of the healthy missionaries are on Tamiflu to make sure we don't get it. I've had a temporary companion, Elder Andersen (one of my roommates) He's a good missionary and very nice, but he's a little spastic. His favorite activities are whistling, singing, and making noise. He's fun though. After finding out that my district was so flu ridden, Carly bought me some airborne and hand sanitizer :-)
Also on the same day Elder Riley Jones Leigh reported:

Well my first piece of interesting news.... Elder Christofferson in our District got the Swine Flue! He has been moved into quarantine for 5 days and our entire district has been put on Tami flu to help prevent us from getting it too. Pretty Crazy huh? The swine flue really is hitting the MTC hard, there are sanitization booths everyone and they encourage you the use it every time you go past. Don't worry though, we are all ok and none of us are showing any flu symptoms.

Elder Brady Johnson gave a very thorough report on the same day:

Hey one and all!

So today is my p-day and I’ll try to answer all of you questions if I can remember them all but I only have 30 minutes on the computer. so… the story behind the whole flu here at the MTC is that a total of 75 people have gotten it so far and I am one of the lucky ones who got it!! Haha — yeah you guys can make fun of me all you want but I know that I got it for a reason. and that reason is to humble me and make me realize that I’m not invincible! haha kind of funny really. I definitely think the Lord has a sense of humor! But the day I got sick was Tuesday and I felt sick when I woke up and was dry heaving in the morning but then I started to get chills and at the health clinic I had a temperature of 100, and I tested positive for Influenza A. The test that they do to see if you have the flu is so ridiculous! They shove a giant Q-tip up your nose and probe at your brain. I heard people talk about it and when the doctor was there and about to go in to my massive nostrils, I told her to just make it fast. IT WAS THE MOST UNCOMFORTABLE THING EVER!!! And when she pulled it out, my nose was bleeding and my eyes were watering and it was crazy! They then put one of the very stylish surgical masks on me until the test came back. So a long story short is that I had Influenza A and pretty much if you have had the flu shot and you get the flu than it is the swine because it has mutated and people can still get it. So they threw me into the quarantine and it was a nightmare! I had a lot of trials while in isolation. My patience was tried and I was going insane. The first two days in isolation I was out cold in bed all day sleeping but after that I was up and able to move around and stuff. Once I was able to move around I felt great and I wasn’t even sick anymore. So it was frustrating to know that I was stuck in a hallway with all these sick people when I was fine. Pretty much the isolation place was just a residence hall and 4 people to a room and you are locked in the hallway you are assigned and they bring you food. While in there, there was no rules as far as sleeping and stuff which was annoying because people were up at 3 in the morning messing around… but this place was gross! There were 40 elders in one hall and it was absolutely trashed. Soooooo grossss! The air was thick and hot. A kid in my room actually was up at Rockland Apartments in Rexburg and I knew him kind of so we became friends and so that was nice. But I did get a lot of studying done which I’m happy about so it was good. Once I got out Sunday morning was amazing. To actually be outside in fresh air was amazing. So that is the story of me becoming a swiner… I lucked out on my severeness of the swine. Some kids had to go home it was so bad!

A week ago 10 June 2009 Sister Sallie Wilson reported:

I spoke a little too soon about the swine flu avoiding my district here...the day after I sent that email (last Thursday), TWO missionaries in my district got quarantined, one of which was one of the sisters in my room. That meant that on Friday, our whole district got to go in for a special "health meeting," where they gave all of us a preventative medication called Relenza. All districts who have missionaries go into quarantine get it, in the hopes that it will prevent the rest of us from getting the flu. I wasn't too crazy about the idea, but I decided that it's for the best, and that I needed to be obedient. So I'm taking it...4 days left! Right after that meeting, MY companion went and got sick, though apparently not with the flu. She was in bed for most of that night, and pretty much the whole next day. We finally took her back to the clinic Saturday night (we'd taken her on Friday and they just sent her away with some Sudafed), to find out for sure what was wrong. Since it was Saturday night, that meant that the MTC clinic was closed, so we got to go to the local clinic here in Provo. Yep, I left the mission boundaries on my one-month mark. It wasn't terribly exciting, but it was nice to have a little change of scenery! A little weird to sit in a waiting room where Batman was on TV though. . . She tested negative for the flu, but the Dr. did mention that the Relenza that we're all on could have masked it and made the test come back wrong...fabulous! She's been pretty much out of it until today, which means that I've been inside on my residence floor for several days. Got some good personal study in though, and it wasn't too bad. I'm still fine, as is the other Hermana in our room. The most I ever got was a slight runny nose, so I'm very grateful!

You would think the swine flu would be winding down now that a week has gone by as you can see from Sister Wilson's report to the four other elders. In fact I am impressed that the general authorities with the mission presidents are going in there next week since older people have a harder time fighting off swine flu I hope they don't get sick. The missionaries are sure handling their bouts with the flu well.


SteveP said...

Any stats on how many have the regular flu?

ben said...

"70% of the control group experienced violent diarrhea."

That's just normal MTC experience ;)