How to survive the great UMass meningitis outbreak of 2017

No more Tinder swiping

With Thanksgiving break quickly approaching, there are two questions all UMass students have: how many drinks will it take my uncle to start making racist comments at Thanksgiving dinner, and how the fuck will I survive this week without getting meningitis?

ICYMI, a second student was diagnosed with meningitis yesterday (shoutout 4th floor Melville!). Zeta Beta Tau fraternity created a GoFundMe for their brother Jonathan, who was the first student to be diagnosed.

"Because these two students were not in close contact with each other, these two cases raise our level of concern," Dr. George Cory, executive director of University Health Services, said in an email to the UMass community.

These kids didn't even know each other, which means anyone can get infected. Here are some surefire tips on how to get through the week without catching the UMass plague.

Be the hermit you've always wanted to be

The first, and easiest, method is to never leave your room. Make one final run to the Big Y (or Whole Foods if you’re boojie) and your plug (I don’t judge). Stock up on everything you may need to survive the rest of the week. If you want to be straight-up doomsday prepped, then get a big bottle to piss in. Can't contract without human contact am I right?

Say goodbye to frat row

If that’s a little too extreme for you, then at least avoid all parties- especially ones that have a punch bowl. Odds are you do not want to drink any of what has been put in that bowl in the first place anyway, let alone after a bunch of drunk people have been coughing and sneezing near the uncovered container. Not to mention, it'll be a no-go for dancing in close contact with other people dripping sweat and probably secreting other bodily fluids.

Halt the hookups

On the idea of bodily fluids, my next tip is to cease all Tinder/Grindr/Scruff/Bumble hookups immediately. The reason for this should be obvious, since during hookups you share bodily fluids in the least godly of ways.

Meningitis is spread through bodily fluids such as saliva, etc. so you may never know who has it! It could be Bonnie who's less than a mile away and loves dogs and tacos. Or even Clyde who is into bondage and proclaims that he is a power bottom. Either of those fools could be a carrier, and if you hook up with them then you might just get the plague too.

RBF for the win

Another very useful tip, that I happen to utilize even when there isn’t a plague spreading, is to use that resting bitch face (RBF) to your advantage. If you perfect this technique like I myself have, then you will seem completely unapproachable to almost anyone walking by, or even to fellow party goers. No human contact = no meningitis!

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Kristen Stewart rocking her RBF.

Stop swapping spit

My next tip is to not share drinks with friends (or even with your significant other; alcohol is expensive people!). But seriously, saliva is the number one transmission method of meningitis. Sharing that coke zero with your boyfriend could be the reason you end up in the hospital with a painful disease that takes quite some time to cure. Splurge that extra $2.50 and get a coke zero for yourself- better yet (wo)man up and get a real coke.

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Hit the road

My final tip for you, and the most tempting one for most of us here, is: JUST DROP OUT. We’ve had a good run. Took some classes, made some bad decisions, met new people, made more bad decisions, etc. but it’s probably time to hit the road. People are getting the plague around here and you wanna peace the fuck out, and I don’t blame you. Shit, my car can seat six people -seven if one is strapped to the roof.

So, that's all folks. Those are just a few quick tips on how to survive this week without getting meningitis. May the odds be ever in your favor.

UMass Amherst