APRIL FOOL’S: This article was published as part of The News-Letter’s annual April Fool’s edition, an attempt at adding some humor to a newspaper that is normally very serious about its reporting.
On March 28, University President Ronald J. Daniels announced in an email to Hopkins affiliates that starting immediately, students infected with COVID-19 will have to isolate in the steam tunnels instead of at the Inn at The Colonnade.
Daniels explained that this decision was made in response to the uptick in cases following students’ return from Spring Break.
“You asked for a break, we gave you a break. Happy yet?” he wrote. “But when a planeload full of hungover students arrived from Miami this weekend, COVID-19 swimming in their veins, we simply did not want to spend all that money to situate them in comfy hotel rooms. I mean, room service for everyone? Forget it.”
Daniels went on to explain that instead, the overflow of infected students will be relocated to the steam tunnels beneath Homewood Campus. Each student will be set up with a personal security guard rat that will teach them how to catch cockroaches for nourishment, how to find the good burrowing spots and how to slip past pipes that might burn their skin.
“I can assure you all that our vermin are highly professional experts,” Daniels wrote. “They know the tunnels better than anyone, and we treat them just as well as we treat our students.”
In order to get students right back to their schoolwork and snap them out of break mode as soon as possible, students will also have access to a room full of old computer junk that they will be expected to repair and take turns using for their courses.
Senior Ima Burnout explained in an interview with The News-Letter that she’s been adjusting to the steam tunnel lifestyle quite well.
“Honestly, watching all of my fellow classmates crawl around in the dark, fighting each other for scraps of rotten food isn’t that different from what it’s like being pre-med here,” she said. “I almost feel like this is where I was supposed to be all along.”
Freshman Ino Vermyhead disagreed, mentioning his distrust with the whole situation.
“I didn’t even test positive for COVID-19,” he said in an interview with The News-Letter. “They just knocked on my AMR III dorm room where I’ve been holed up studying over break, put a blindfold over my eyes and dragged me down to the tunnels.”
Daniels also explained that this policy is part of the new Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind initiative. This initiative aims to reduce waste on campus by shoving it away and hoping it never turns up again.
As of now, there is no set return date for the steam tunnel students to emerge from isolation.
Burnout expressed her satisfaction with this ambiguity.
“Leave me here forever, for all I care,” she said. “I doubt Spring Fair will be good this year anyway.”