BC Remembers: Reflections on a Highly Contagious Norovirus Outbreak

If you hadn’t heard by now from the administration, a number of national news sources, or your relatives over the holidays, Boston College experienced its own version of a health epidemic late last semester. A highly contagious norovirus from an ill employee at the popular Chipotle in Cleveland Circle infected over 140 students, just in time for final exams. Gaining massive publicity from its initial impact upon the men’s basketball team, the news made headlines across the nation and the world. BC responded with drastic measures, temporarily putting an end to self-service food stations and introducing sanitation stations throughout campus. The hysteria that ensued left many students sick, but countless more students fearing for their health and sanity during a crucial part of the semester. The impact of the virus was felt broadly, and those who were not directly affected by the virus itself undoubtedly felt the indirect aftermath. Here at The Heights, we attempted to reach out to many of the victims of the nationally-acclaimed norovirus. Many declined, even more outright ignored our requests, but we received a couple of words from victims and individuals in the periphery of the crisis who could muster it. Here is a small sample of perspectives from the recent health crisis.


“I’ve always preferred El Pelon over Chipotle because of the taquitos, so I thought I would be safe from the norovirus. However, one of my roommates thought he’d be a great guy and let his girlfriend crash on our couch for a few days while she was in the early stages of the plague.  From there, let’s just say that I made it about three days. No amount of dining hall crisis management could save me. I was a goner.”

William Bowditch, MCAS ’17

“It was definitely a curveball for finals week. It was probably a bit excessive on my part, but if you saw me at any point during that week there was probably a box of Clorox wipes in my backpack and Purell in my pocket.  Safe to say I haven’t been to Chipotle since and won’t be running back any time soon.”

Emma Hanlon, MCAS ’17

“I really did think I had it. I mean I eat at Chipotle at least once a day usually.  I was a shoe-in for this thing and could’ve sworn I felt it coming on almost immediately upon hearing the news.  Fortunately, I was able to quarantine myself off-campus and avoid contact due to my essay-heavy exam schedule, but I still consider myself lucky. I dodged a bullet back there.”

Alex Mukherjee, MCAS ’17


About James Lucey 36 Articles
James Lucey is the Features Editor at The Heights and a member of the class of 2017 at Boston College. He had high hopes for writing a good bio, but couldn't be clever on the spot. Hi mom.