The Tomato

Elementary school students at risk of  contracting ‘icky’ virus

Even though class is not currently in session, panic has gripped Ottawa elementary school students this week after third grade class president Kyle Tompkins addressed his peers across the city regarding reports that several students from Elmdale Public School are being treated for a potential case of cooties.

“It’s important that everyone remain calm,” president Tompkins, 8, declared from within a plastic bubble while being flanked by a security team adorned in hazmat suits. He expects to meet with class presidents from other schools in order to work on an outbreak containment plan later in the week.

Health officials say the students in question have all been exhibiting signs of social awkwardness and are believed to have contracted cooties while attending a summer camp in Northern Ontario. The camp has been quarantined as a safety measure.

Official reports vary on the rate of infection. Media speculation indicates the cooties virus has already infected anywhere between zero and all elementary school students in the immediate Ottawa area.

While no one truly understands how the disease originates, scientists suspect cooties, also known as “boy/girl bacteria,” incubates in younger siblings before it is transmitted via skin contact, awkward social behaviour, or verbal transfer. Doctors warn that cooties can result in a loss of Twitter and Instagram followers, Facebook friends, and, if left untreated, the complete and utter destruction of one’s social life.

President Tompkins described cooties as a “significant health concern” bordering on “icky” and warns that even the cool kids can be susceptible to the disease.

In an effort to stop the spread of infection, Tompkins has urged students to see their family doctor about receiving the cooties vaccine.

“I’ve been playing doctor for over three years, and this is one of the worst potential outbreaks of cooties that I have ever seen,” said Elmdale student Alice Bryce, 11.

“Remember, it’s ‘circle-circle,’ followed by ‘dot-dot,’ and that’s how you get your cootie shot,” she urged.

“It’s important that students not forget to lock it, stamp it, and call ‘no erasies’ to ensure the vaccine’s effectiveness,” she added.

Contrary to her steadfast claims, Bryce has not attended a certified medical school and does not hold a medical license.

Despite the warnings from health officials, Tompkins said there has already been pushback to the current vaccination plan.

Starting Tuesday, several different concerned parent groups have even begun to convene at Elmdale to protest the use of cooties vaccines. Some believe the vaccine is an ineffective and non-existent remedy. Others state that use of the vaccine can lead to the development of super-mega-cooties in some children later in life.

“We have parents telling their children that cootie vaccinations are a waste of time and completely made up,” said Tompkins. “I assure you, cooties are out there. Cooties are real.”

If you believe that you have contracted cooties, please consult with a medical professional immediately and tell no one. The more people hear about it, the worse it gets.