Welcome back to Story Time with Georgia, where I share weird bite-sized stories from members of the Colorado College community. The guy from “The Flash” recently vaped so much in a first-class airplane bathroom that the pilots had to put on oxygen masks, and if you’ve ever done or witnessed anything that embarrassing, I would love nothing more than to hear about it. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Who: Ally Bourelly ’20
When: Spring Break 2019
What: The Food Poisoning Scene From “Bridesmaids” but With CC Kids Over Spring Break
2009 was a big year in the United States: Barack Obama took office, “Jersey Shore” premiered on MTV, and Mark Zuckerberg’s major contribution to society was essentially just a platform for Farmville. In some circles, however, that year is best known for the Swine Flu norovirus epidemic, affectionately nicknamed “Swine ’09.” Ten years later, Ally Bourelly ’20 and friends involuntarily commemorated its anniversary by all getting norovirus over spring break.
Bourelly, 11 other Colorado College students, two moms, and someone’s sister were headed to an Airbnb in Sayulita, Mexico for a relaxing six days in warm weather. Although they heard murmurs about a spreading virus when they arrived, Bourelly said, “We really didn’t think anything of it. We just knew not to drink the water and to swim only in certain bodies of water because there had been a sewage leak in the water nearby.” The first two days of the trip went as planned, and although the moms mentioned some stomach pains, no one predicted the chaos that would ensue over the following days.
Day three was when “all hell broke loose,” Bourelly said. The moms and sister were the norovirus’s first victims. “They were completely destroyed,” and spent the next 12 to 24 hours of their tropical vacation having uncontrollable diarrhea and vomiting relentlessly. The next day they seemed better, and despite hell having broken loose the day before, the three started to feel in control of their bowel movements again. With the illness behind them, it was the perfect time for the group to take an all-day boat trip around the nearby islands.
Bourelly assumed she was just seasick when her stomach started to churn during the trip. Her “seasickness” got progressively worse, and she described having “the worst stomach pain ever” and puking twice. Others on the boat also complained of “seasickness” and a few even threw up off the side, but they all continued to feel ill even after being back on land.
Obviously, they were not actually seasick, and when more members of the group had stomach pain later that night, Bourelly said that “we knew we were screwed.”
There’s a scene in the movie “Bridesmaids” where Melissa McCarthy, Maya Rudolph, and others all get food poisoning at the same time in a bridal salon, and McCarthy and Kristen Wiig are stuck vomiting and having diarrhea in the same small bathroom. I’m assuming that this 14-person trip involved similar experiences because, by day five, all but one single person were experiencing the horrible stomach pains, diarrhea, and uncontrollable puke the moms and sister had on day three.
By day six, most were over the virus, albeit with incredibly sensitive stomachs, but many of them still felt unwell enough to ditch their plans and spend the rest of break in Carbondale, and Vail, Colo. Norovirus doesn’t mess around though. Later that week, the single CC student who had avoided it finally fell ill. RIP Swine ’09 and Sayulita Sickness ’19 (Google’s suggested search after typing “Sayulita”), you will not be missed.
Takeaway: If anyone needs me in 2029, I will be staying inside the entire year.