Campus Newspaper Blog Shares Student’s Swine Flu Battle

I’ve seen blogs in my life- great blogs; middling blogs; blogs of towering mass appeal; blogs that make the phrase inconsequential irrelevance not sound redundant; blogs about exotic food, a person’s mood, a church bingo group, President Obama, Hello Kitty, and being a working mother. I have never come across a blog like this.

It is built atop a disease sporting two letters interspersed with a repeating number: H1N1. “The Swine Flu Diaries” is a “slightly morbid, but still funny” blow-by-blow account of one student’s fight with swine flu. SFD is an official blog of The Seahawk, the campus newspaper at UNC-Wilmington, arriving at a time of heightened sensitivities toward H1N1 at the school, after “an outbreak of flu-like illness” affected hundreds of students.  It also comes amid a semester’s start in which Center for Innovation in College Media director Bryan Murley says there is not enough student press coverage of the disease.

It is posted atop a very basic WordPress template, penned by student Lisa Hyunh. In three lengthy entries so far, Hyunh has reflected in memoir form upon her H1NI symptoms, initial diagnosis, treatment-in-progress, and attempts at avoiding exposing others.  As her “Day 2″ entry began:

2:00 AM: Woke up finding myself covered in a thick layer of sweat. Had brief, OMG, panic attack. Drank a bottle of water in one gulp, wiped off my forehead, then rolled over and decided to worry about it later.

10:00 AM: Realized that freak sweating incident was probably body’s way of fighting off the fever, because unlike yesterday, I don’t have weirdo chills anymore. Hooray!!! Progress is being made!

In her latest entry, Huynh even posted a mock obituary, prefaced by the simple lively statement “NOTICE: Did not die.” It was heartening to read- for her sake certainly, but also for the paper. Why? Because the paper has a terrific new blog going. Now the only worry is what to do with the blog once she’s back to feeling fine. :-)

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