Every fall, you hear students coughing away in class, under the weather with what some students have dramatically called, “The Tufts Plague.” What is The Tufts Plague? A sniffly nose, sneezes here and there, and a cough that lasts way too long—that’s The Tufts Plague.
Many of you may know these symptoms as a common cold. You would, in fact, be correct. Just like in high school when the weather gets cold and sicknesses go around, the same thing happens at college, except at college people live in close quarters with roommates, hallmates, housemates, etc., exacerbating the problem. Luckily, for us, Tufts has an extremely competent and friendly health services department.
Last week, I myself came down with The Tufts Plague. After two days of a sore throat, I convinced myself that I must have strep throat. I used the Tufts online health portal to sign up for a telehealth appointment, which is how health services sees students with any Covid-related symptoms. Once I was prescreened in the Zoom appointment, the nurse practitioner decided that I should come into the building (featured above) for a strep test, so she set up a second appointment for me later that day. I came in, got swabbed, and sat waiting for the results in my private room for 20 minutes. The test came back negative, and the doctor saw me to see if I had any questions or concerns before he sent me on my way.
My cold continued for two weeks, and I developed laryngitis, rendering me unable to speak at all for five full days. After three days of silence, I zipped to health services for reassurance that that was normal. All I had to do was send a message to the doctors through the health portal, and they let me skip telehealth, giving me a same-day appointment.
The doctor I saw, Dr. Doyle, was very nice and comforting. He told me that my voice would come back within a few days and that I just had some type of virus. He also asked about my brother, who he knew from when my brother attended Tufts. I always like that everyone in health services takes the time to make the visit personable.
Dr. Doyle also refilled my inhaler prescription through Inman Pharmacy in Cambridge. Inman has a special partnership with Tufts, and all of the prescriptions they fill for Tufts students get brought straight to health services so that you can pick them up on campus, which makes it super easy to get medicines.
Maybe it seems weird to read a whole blog about health services, but in my opinion, it is one of the most underrated departments at Tufts, and it deserves to be talked about more. The systems they have in place are convenient, the staff are kind and competent, and they care a lot about keeping us (the herd) healthy and happy. My Emma’s advice for you today is not as directly related to Tufts health services as it is to your own health in college. Stock up on Dayquil and Nyquil right before you leave for school. My mom made me a whole first aid kit, and out of everything in it, the decongestants are the medicines I have used the most. Keep your health supplies nearby, and you’ll be ready to combat The College Plague yourself.