It was a chilly March day in Boxwood Terrace. But, for such a small town, Boxwood Terrace was more busy than usual. People were rushing to the supermarket to buy supplies, and caused a lot of traffic jams as a result.
Jet wanted to step outside and get some fresh air, but as soon as he opened the door, he found a lot of cars honking at each other outside. Jet had no clue what was going on.
Suddenly, Carrot and Celery stepped outside as well, and rushed into the minivan.
"Mom, dad, where are you going?" inquired Jet.
"We're going to the supermarket to buy toilet paper," said Carrot. "All the Earthies are doing it."
"You have to stay home with Sunspot and Face," said Celery. "They'll keep you company."
"Okay, mom and dad! Bye bye!" called Jet.
Now that his parents had mentioned Face 9000, Jet was going to ask him something, but he was interrupted by Mindy. She was carrying a pack of toilet paper. "Jet!" she cried. "You have to go inside!" She pushed him inside.
"Wh-what's going on? Why is everyone in such a panic?" asked Jet. "There's a virus going around!" yelled Mindy. "Vi-rus? What's a vi-rus?" asked Jet. Face 9000 chimed in. "Face 9000, ready to assist you! Anyways, a virus is a sickness that can spread to others," he said. "Thanks Face!" said Jet. "Happy to be of assistance!" beamed Face.
"Anywho, I heard that the virus turns your feet green and gives you diarrhea. At least, that's what Lillian told me. That's why we're buying all this toilet paper," said Mindy. "Diarrhea? What's that?" asked Jet. "You REALLY don't want to know…." said Mindy. "I guess that's why mom and dad went to the store to buy toilet paper," realized Jet.
"Yup," said Mindy. Suddenly, know-it-all Mitchell Peterson walked by. He was also holding a pack of toilet paper. "The virus doesn't turn your feet green!" exclaimed Mitchell. "It obviously makes you throw up a hundred times a day and you can get it just by looking at someone who has it…...wait, you guys don't have it, do you?"
"No!" exclaimed Jet and Mindy. "Well, good, because I'm staying in my house forever. Good day," said Mitchell. After Mitchell left, Jet told Mindy, "This is bad! I don't wanna get the virus! We have to tell Sean and Sydney!"
"Good idea, Jet," said Mindy. The friends walked to Sean's house, where he and Sydney were playing hopscotch. "Sean! Sydney!" shouted Jet and Mindy simultaneously. "We have to warn you! There's a virus going around that makes you throw up, turns your feet green, gives you diarrhea, and you can get it just by looking at someone!"
Sean and Sydney were bewildered. They looked at Jet and Mindy like they were crazy or something. "Uh….." they both said. They stared at Jet and Mindy for a long time. Finally, Sean spoke: "You guys do know that those are just rumors, right?" Mindy was embarrassed, and dropped her toilet paper. Jet, on the other hand, had no idea what a rumor was, so Sean and Sydney explained it to him: rumors are stories that go around that aren't true. "Oh…..so the whole virus thing is just a rumor?' asked Jet.
"No, it's very real, but all the symptoms you heard about were fake," said Sydney. "People made them up to scare other people."
"Oh, so what do we do now?" asked Jet. "We go to actual experts, our parents, who work at the DSA!" said Sean.
At the DSA, Drs. Rafferty, Skelley, and Bergs were just finishing up their work when the kids came in. "Mom," Sydney asked Dr. Skelley. "Have you heard about the virus?"
"Oh, we have heard," said Dr. Skelley. "But all the things you're hearing about it are false."
"So, it doesn't turn your feet green?" asked Mindy. The three scientists laughed. "No, of course not!" said Dr. Rafferty. The scientists explained what the symptoms were: coughing, fever, tiredness, and in severe cases, difficulty breathing.
"Well, what can we do to stay safe from it?" inquired Sean.
"Here are some tips to stay safe," began Dr. Bergs. "Wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds, with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub. Cover your nose and mouth with a disposable tissue or flexed elbow when you cough or sneeze. Avoid close contact (1 meter or 3 feet) with people who are unwell, and stay home and self-isolate from others in the household if you feel unwell."
"Okay! We will take your advice!" shouted all the kids simultaneously.
As they walked out of the DSA, and back to Jet's house, Face 9000 popped up. "Face, did I pocket dial you again?" asked Jet. Face laughed. "No, Jet. I've been wanting to tell you this all day, but you were around the scientists, and you know, I can't be seen around them. Anyways, Bortronians are immune to human diseases like the virus, so that means you won't get sick, Jet!'
"Really, awesome!" exclaimed Jet. Just then, Carrot and Celery returned from the store, but they had no toilet paper. "They were all out!" said Carrot.
"That's okay, dad!" said Jet. "Bortronians can't get sick from human diseases, so we won't get sick! You didn't need the toilet paper."
"Ohhhhh….." said Carrot and Celery.
"But as for us Earthies, we have to practice good self-care and stay home. We have no school for the next week or so, so that leaves us with a lot of free time." remarked Sean.
"Ok guys. See you soon!" said Jet.