Lynette’s Norovirus Nightmare – NoroCORE Food Virology

Lynette’s Norovirus Nightmare

The Norovirus Nightmares keep on coming and this one is a doozie.

Imagine you and 20 of your family members have norovirus…now put yourselves in a snowed-in cabin…with one bathroom!

That’s our latest Norovirus Nightmare from Dr. Lynette Johnston of our Admin Team, which she calls “Quality Family Time” and pushed through the emotional scars to share with us here:



The twin of the cabin where things went horribly wrong…

The children look on desolation after the horrors they've faced.

The children look on in desolation after the horrors they’ve faced.

Thanks to an upbringing of farming, family vacations were nonexistent. With half of my siblings and I in our post-farming life, we had the ingenious idea of a family trip to the mountains during Christmas 2006 to show our kids the true meaning of quality family time. After much planning and anticipation, as well as a very brief mention of a niece feeling better from what seemed to be too much of Grandma’s rum cake, twenty-one members of my family headed to the slopes of New Mexico.

To maximize our quality time together, we insisted on one cabin where we were loosely packed, only somewhat like sardines. The first day was the quintessential family gathering of skiing, hot chocolate and laughter. Stick a fork in it; day two was all she wrote.

One by one we were hit with the “stomach bug,” spending quality time in line for the cabin’s one bathroom, and showing signs of a true norovirus outbreak. New victims were announced each morning, and those recovering were passed out in their rooms.

As this saga raged on, Angel Fire, New Mexico, received record snowfall for the month of December…49.5 inches to be exact! (click the link then click the Snowfall Records tab to see it). There was no escaping, as the snow crews were not prepared for such an event, thus requiring the only route down the mountain to be closed! We were lucky the power didn’t go out, but it was very cold…my brother had to stay up each night stoking the fire to keep things as warm as possible in our little shelter.

Needless to say, insanity crept in our cabin as even those who did not show symptoms were convinced of being ill. As if we could not find enough misery, the bottom of the conversation barrel was hit when my brother initiated a conversation of Bush politics…norovirus and politics do NOT mix!

Finally, on our fifth day together, the roads were cleared and we made our escape back home, and yet another family member fell victim to the “bug” as we wound our way down the mountain. (She actually stuck her head out the window as the car moved forward, vomiting last night’s dinner. Perhaps the car should have stopped, but there was no braking on this caravan home!)

Thanks to norovirus, my family has yet to plan another family vacation.

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