Patrick Burke ‘17
HYDE PARK - Spring break hopefuls around Chicago Booth are growing increasingly concerned about the effects of the Zika virus on their vacation plans. About a third of the MBA students are expected to travel to tropical locations this March.
“Like, what if all the hotel staff are dead or something?” asked a concerned Tiffany McMiller. The first-year student plans to visit Colombia with 85 of her closest friends. “I really wanted to get my towels folded into those fun animal shapes!”
The Zika virus, first discovered several years ago by biologists, has accelerated its spread throughout the tropical Americas, leaving death and deformities in its wake. Risks are highest to children, the elderly, and child-bearing females.
“It’s just, like, so freaky! I mean... it’s not like I’m trying to get pregnant, but like, it’s happened a few times before,” said McMiller.
Travelers have been advised to stay away from standing water, pools, and wooded areas. Second-year student Charlie Bagelton seemed undeterred. “Fuck it. I’m getting ripped and zip lining through that endangered rainforest no matter what,” said Bagelton.
“My parents didn’t pay for my flight to Costa Rica just to sit on the beach covered in bug spray and blackout on Corona Lights. I’m going to see a motherfucking sloth,” he insisted.
The World Health Organization has suggested that vacationers exhibit extreme caution until the full extent of the risks are understood. The U.S. State Department has issued warnings to travelers, highlighting the risk posed to health and safety.
“I hear it can be transmitted sexually now,” said Bagelton. “I guess I’ll have to learn how to use a condom. Do you need a prescription for those?”
Despite the local epidemic, the travelers remained optimistic. “I just want to get drunk before noon, buy a puka shell necklace, and get my hair braided by a beautiful, topless Mexican man on the beach,” said McMiller.
McMiller was disappointed to learn that Mexicans do not reside in Colombia, but was relieved to hear that Colombians speak Spanish.
“Me and my bros are gonna totally crush this trip,” said Bagelton. “I mean, seriously, how much worse can Zika be than herpes?”