By Samuel Wexler (IV)

On Friday, November 8, students at the Basking Ridge campus refreshed their emails to find that the school day was cut short due to a stomach bug spreading throughout the school community. After being dismissed from their classes, confused students and faculty wandered around the school, some waiting for parents or buses to pick them up. All after-school activities were cancelled to allow the cleaning staff time to perform a “deep clean and disinfect the building,” according to an email sent by Associate Director of Operations, Safety, and Strategic Initiatives, Mr. David Fahey. 

Perhaps the most shocking result of this announcement was the rescheduling of the Friday night performance of the Fall play, “Our Town,” to Saturday afternoon. To boost attendance, students who bought tickets for the Friday show were given free Saturday matinée tickets. Students could also use the discount code “PLAGUE” to gain free admission to the show. 

In the aftermath of the incident, the community began to wonder what caused this local epidemic, dubbed “The Pingry Plague.” Some students theorized that the virus originated among the play cast and then spread throughout the rest of the school. Others assumed that the boys’ and girls’ soccer championship games led students to come to school even if they were sick. 

School nurses Mrs. Joyce Livak and Ms. Jennifer DiBiasi provided their insight on the epidemic. According to them, the potent stomach virus was likely spread by someone who had come to school with the virus already in their system; they also theorized the students had contaminated communal surfaces, such as a lunch table, with the virus. The rest is history. 

To stop the further spread of the virus, the nurses recommended washing your hands and staying home for at least 24 hours after symptoms have ended. With the cold and flu season upon us, it is vital that Pingry students follow these directions, so that this “Pingry Plague” is the last one.