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Here we go again: Carleton to require vaccination against Porch Plague

Researchers had been operating under the assumption that sleep deprivation, stress, and Bon Appetit eggs posed the most significant threat to the Carleton community’s health. Recently, however, a young hotshot virus hit the scene: The Porch House Viral Disease, or POVID-21.  The prevailing consensus among the scientific community is that POVID-21 originated in a human host and was spread during a large party. Yet, not all scientists are in agreement. A small group of researchers in the biology department have floated the theory that the virus was, in fact, leaked from a laboratory in Dundas. We have not seen enough evidence to confirm or refute this theory because nobody ever remembers what goes on at Porch House. 

  The novel porch virus’s symptoms go beyond mere sniffling and congestion. One might say the virus alters the dynamics of the campus itself. Those afflicted with POVID-21 have been spotted walking around barefoot for no reason, quoting popular YikYak posts, and ordering Domino’s Pizza at inconvenient locations, among other odd behaviors. The actual scope of the disease’s effects remains unknown. However, as a respiratory illness, POVID-21 is undoubtedly contagious.

  Carleton’s administration has taken notice. “We cannot allow the odd behaviors associated with POVID-19 to become commonplace,” President Allison Byerly told us in a written statement. “The only contagion unique to campus should be curiosity; the only pandemic should be poise. Illness at Carleton should be mental, not physical.”

  Byerly signaled her intention to vaccinate at least 95% of the student body by Winter term. One might view the idea of a POVID vaccine with skepticism, but NIAID charman Dr. Anthony Fauci voiced his disagreement during a recent MSNBC appearance. “The truth is, it isn’t so hard to make vaccines with the technology we have now. Just this morning, I was trying to make coffee. I reached for the mRNA instead of the sugar, and next thing you know, I’m immune to diseases that don’t even exist yet,” Fauci said.

  Though Byerly’s vaccination efforts have met a mostly warm reception, the Carleton faculty is not without its dissenters. Leading the charge is former president Steven G. Poszkanzer. “We aren’t even a week into Batty Byerly’s presidency and you’re all missing me already, aren’t you?” Poszkanzer said at a recent rally. “It’s one of the biggest disasters that’s ever happened here, that I can tell you. Back when I had the presidency, which they stole from me using a very biased and rigged Presidential Search Committee, we never saw anything like this. But it’s okay. Carleton will be made quirky again soon.”

  Though it is easy to become swept up in the ongoing flurry of theories, panic, and politics, the student body seems eager to be vaccinated–perhaps due to POVID-21’s long-term effects.

  “I have long POVID,” an anonymous junior told us, “and my life still hasn’t returned to normal. I thought it’d be over three weeks ago. Instead, I’ve been compulsively Yakking about my romantic life. I can’t stop. And,” she concluded tearfully, opening the Domino’s app, “I don’t even own shoes anymore.”

  Visit the POVID-21 information center for vaccine resources.

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