Since I am from an area that frequently gets hit by hurricanes, I really didn’t think much of this “frankenstorm” Sandy heading towards the northeast last week. However, when classes starting getting cancelled, my roommates came home with lanterns and batteries, and we made a trip to buy ice chests, I got a little caught up in the hype of the hurricane. We have a house in Butcher’s Hill near the hospital, so we weren’t too worried about flooding, but just to be safe we decided to join in on the sandbagging fun that was happening down in Fell’s Point. It was pretty impressive how prepared most people were for this hurricane. We made quite a few new friends (had to borrow a shovel somehow) and got a couple business cards from restaurant owners that were determined to maintain power and business throughout the storm.
Ultimately it just rained a lot and was very windy. We had a little flooding in the basement, and some water damage on the walls, but the power never went out and all our lectures got posted online so we were doing homework. After a full day of being cooped up inside, though, we got a little stir crazy and decided to make a run for it to the little Irish pub down the street to meet some neighbor friends. So, bundled up in raincoats, boots, and gloves we battled the gale force winds and managed to enjoy a couple hours out of the house.
We did not end up back in classes until Wednesday, which of course was HALLOWEEN!!! A few people busted out some fun costumes for class and lab. Even our professors were getting in to the spirit! That evening several friends and I went out in Fells Point, which evidently is the place to be on Halloween night! There were literally thousands of people out dressed in ridiculous costumes. I think I saw everything from Zombie apocalypse to prissy ballerina. I personally was a hurricane….too soon???
I also was getting nervous during the hurricane because of the severe flight delays and cancellations Sandy was causing. I had a trip to Atlanta planned to visit a friend of mine over the weekend and I would have be sooooo mad if my flight got cancelled! Luckily, though, this was not the case and I got to spend the weekend in “hotlanta” as they call it. A definite highlight to this trip, and something that is very interesting for all of us healthcare people, was a little visit to the CDC museum!! Knowing I’m a healthcare junkie, he had planned this without me knowing, so I was a little surprised when we drove up to the gates! We were immediately asked to get out of the car and pop the hood and trunk for a complete vehicle search. Pretty intense and kind of makes you realize what dangerous stuff is contained within the walls of this place. Once they decided these two Texans were not of much threat to national security, we were allowed to proceed.
The exhibit that was currently on display was The Cells of Our Body. Many interactive and informational videos of the molecular processes in our bodies. Interesting enough, but I was much more excited to see all the stuff downstairs where they had the history of the control of infectious diseases! There was everything from malaria and small pox, to HIV and ebola outbreaks! I was soaking it up! Amazing how many of these diseases have only been contained within the past 30-40 years! There was also an Iron Lung on display which was used to create negative pressure on Polio patients to help them breathe. Just like a kid in a candy store. I was not allowed to take many pictures, but here is one of the entrance….definitely check this out if you’re ever in the ATL. It’s free and worth the visit!