Friday, November 6, 2009

Swine Flu Still Problem Months Later at MTC

Sister Daria Clifton reports that Swine Flu in a humorous incident at the MTC:
Now, down to the news. On Thursday, six of my elders started complaining that they were not feeling well. They all looked and sounded like they'd been hit by semis. Us Hermanas, after much persistence, sent them to the Health Clinic. Five of them were sent back to their dorms to sleep for the rest of the day, and for the following day. One of them was sent to QUARANTINE! Poor Elder Warr, my FAVORITE Elder, was sent to quarantine! The doctor wouldn't say if he has Swine Flu or not, but he thought he did. We went to the building where Elder Warr was quarantined and tried to see if we could find his window. No such luck. Then, the next day, we were walking by, wrapped up in studying Spanish when we heard pounding on the window. We looked three stories up to see Elder Warr going NUTS pounding his fists against the window trying to get our attention. It was the funniest thing I've ever seen. Then, when he saw us, he slammed his hands against the window and slid them down, letting us know he really wanted to get out of there. Little did he know he would spend a few more days in there! We pulled out our whiteboards we bought to study with, and wrote notes on them. He would respond the best he could, but it was hard to read his lips and play charades from three floors down. It was pretty funny. We made quite the spectacle, I'm sure! People would walk by and just look at us funny, and we just told them that our District Leader was in quarantine. They totally understood. We felt so bad for him, and missed him a lot during the week! He's the one elder that brings peace to the other elders. So, yesterday, we were having another conversation with him, when Elder Thomas, Elder Warr's companion, walked up and told us he was headed to the Health Clinic again because he didn't feel well. Twenty minutes later we got the message that Elder Thomas was sent to quarantine and that he DID have Eswine Flu (that's how we say it in Spanish...haha). Then, we found out that one of our Zone Leaders has it, and our roommate who was supposed to leave TODAY for her mission has it! It's spreading like wildfire. Well, today we had to go to the Health Clinic for something else (NOT Eswine Flu...), and we were told we couldn't see the doctor because he went home es bueno. That's real bad. When they told us that Elder Warr possibly had Pig Flu, they called our entire district down to the Health Clinic and gave us all Tamiflu. This is a 10-day series of pills, and the whole thing costs over $100 per person. They gave it to us because it severely decreases our chances of getting sick, and if we do, than it minimizes our symptoms. It makes us nauseous and really tired, but at least we're trying to stay healthy. So, a lot of people are in quarantine, and we are TRYING to stay healthy. It's just hard when we are all in such tight quarters!
This sister makes a good point that the close proximity has contributed to this problem which has persisted for  over five months now.  You can't necessarily put all the missionaries in isolation since not all show signs of  the flu and some never get it.   I noticed that the MTC on their official website now has the June 2009 Swine Flu press release under its missionary section.  It discourages parents from sending sick children to the MTC.

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