Editorial | Parties are full of germs, don’t share your drink

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Editorial | Parties are full of germs, don’t share your drink

At the University, parties and bars are rampant with students sharing drinks, JUULs and people. With the sheer amount of students passing through, these environments become the perfect places for bacteria to spread.

Most students are aware of how many germs are spread in any type of housing, on or off campus. With almost everything being shared or touched in some way, the chances of catching a cold, flu or something else skyrockets.

The Daily Illini Editorial Board stresses that while students may be conscious of how germs spread in dorms, apartments and Greek houses, students cannot forget that parties and bars are places where germs spread just as much, if not more.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, viruses like mumps, mononucleosis and hand, foot and mouth disease can all be transmitted through saliva or mucus. These viruses are also common in all college campuses. Students should think twice before sipping a friend’s drink or hitting another friend’s JUUL. It’s probably not the best idea when the “Illini Plague” is going around. For those of you who are unsure, that’s about right now.

For JUULs and e-cigarettes specifically, there’s even more of a risk to transmit disease. According to a 2015 study published by the Public Library of Science journal, researchers found those who actively use e-cigarettes, even for relatively brief periods, are susceptible to a weakened immune system.

Now, we aren’t calling your friends dirty. We’re sure they’re well-washed people, but they’re probably not sharing their JUUL with only you. So imagine sharing an e-cigarette with others, people you might not even know very well, during a time in the semester where viruses are being shared like free money.

Fall semester is in full gear. With most recruitments for academic and professional RSOs and Greek life now over, and midterm season approaching all too soon, many students shift their focus to academics and resume-building in preparation for landing summer internships or jobs.

And while students here at the University study hard, they also play hard. With the transition from summer to fall in full effect, these few upcoming months are full of barn dances, formals and bar crawls. Having two midterms, a presentation and an interview all in one week creates a lot of stress — so blowing off some steam and going to a party is something a lot of students look forward to.

The Daily Illini Editorial Board encourages students to be aware of the potential consequences of sharing drinks and e-cigarettes and to think twice about letting your friend’s friend’s boyfriend take a hit off your JUUL.

It is about knowing you’re going to come in contact with an abundance of germs at parties and bars no matter what, and accepting it. It’s also about knowing we are at that point in the semester where half the student population is sick. So make smart choices and politely decline sharing a shot glass.