Combat Zone

Public health emergency: multiple novel forms of herpes transmission reported at UPS

Beware: if you see this rash, get tested immediately for herpes Photo credit: Carlos T. Wikimedia commons

By Queen McBean

  On Sept. 23, 2022, the popular Instagram account @upsmissedconnections posted the first instance of someone reporting severe injuries from “a vacuum cleaner thrown out of the window,” followed by a picture of those “injuries.” Although quickly dismissed as standard fare from this account, further examination of these “injuries” revealed that they were, in fact, blisters symptomatic of the herpes simplex virus, popularly known as herpes. Although an isolated case of herpes on a college campus is normally no cause for alarm, as further reports of unlikely accidents and herpes blisters came in, panic began to set in. 

  After only three days, @upsmissedconnections reported dozens of instances of absurd accidents, including being hit with a frozen banana, being crushed by an inexplicable falling anvil, and being carried off by the bees on the roof of Thompson Hall to a land now long since lost to the mists of time. All of these reports include a picture of the injuries sustained, and all of those pictures, experts concur, are of herpes blisters. To these experts, who were summoned to campus to deal with this rapidly expanding public health crisis, the situation is as dire as it is clear: the herpes virus has mutated so significantly that it can be transmitted through these absurd accidents. Indeed, as per Dr. Saddam Haasah, W.M.D (Doctor of Whimsical Medicine, for those specializing in the surreal, absurd, and downright whimsical), a leading whimsicologist, this may very well be the defining threat of the 21st century.

  To that point, Dr. Hasaah strongly recommends abstaining from all things “bizarre, bewildering, and bananas,” until more is known about this new strain of herpes, now referred to as “the weird wounds” by the student body. Unfortunately, it would appear that the University’s student body has yet to view this mutated herpes as an actual threat; the greater threat, in their view, appears to be the restrictions themselves. As part of the University of Puget Sound’s official response to this herpes epidemic, it has officially halted the operation of all on-campus societies and clubs. The Strapped-to-an-ACME-Rocket Support Group, Society for the Humorous Placement of Banana Peels, and Future Accountants Club were inconsolable. However, the club that took the restrictions the hardest was the University’s Pre-Health Society. 

  Pre-health students, in particular, have chafed under these restrictions to the extent that they have begun to actively protest them. Protest leaders, when interviewed, have provided two key reasons for this rebellion. The first is that prehealth students can only truly be understood by other pre-health students, for no one else can even begin to take a comparable amount of pride in their masochism. The second, in contrast, is that restrictions on absurd and whimsical on-campus activities severely curtails most pre-health students’ extracurriculars, as they are lodged in a cold war with other pre-health students to engage in the most unorthodox and “quirky” activities as possible, to make their medical school applications stand out. By press time, however, most of these students realized that actively protesting public health restrictions — while simultaneously being on the pre-health track — makes for an extracurricular that will definitely grab the attention of medical school admissions committees.