How I got herpes at Coachella and then at Springfest!

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Following the latest Coachella festival, it would appear as if music and art were not the only things to have gone viral over the weekend. According to a recent report from TMZ, the application and web portal HerpAlert has identified an upsurge in users seeking to get tested for herpes in Southern California.

For those of you who may live under a rock, or can’t get their rocks off, herpes is a very common sexually transmitted infection (STI) which many people may unknowingly possess. Due to its pervasiveness and dormancy, herpes is oftentimes excluded from STD evaluations on the basis that one can be infected and still not test positive until physical symptoms are present.

These symptoms are categorized as HSV-1, typically referred to as “oral herpes,” and HSV-2, commonly thought of as “genital herpes.” Though the virus can differ in location and type, the herpes that “almost everyone has” is quite a different strand of oral herpes that consists of harmless cold sores, while of course, genital herpes is a completely different matter.

Yet, in claiming the ability to identify flare-ups of either cold sores or genital herpes using pictures, answers to several questions, and a small payment of nearly $80, the two-year-old app has gained so much popularity in the subsequent weeks after the supposed “outbreak” during Coachella. However, upon deeper analysis it may seem as though this sudden onset may be nothing more than a marketing campaign.

With its implementation of scare tactics, hinging on the incitement of emotion, the application was able to successfully convince a concerned audience to use their product. Consequently, the app noted its spike from about 12 users per day to 250 in the first days of the festival, sparking considerable anxiety among anyone who may have attended. With that said, it must be noted that all of these figures and estimates have been reported solely from the HerpAlert app and are not the findings of the music festival or the CDC.

What has come out of this though is a more profound comprehension for why things catch on to the point where getting “herpes at Coachella” becomes something of an achievement. Of course, when 100,000 to 200,000 party-goers, who are of a demographic most likely to be associated with substance-inspired decisions, the incident rate is bound to escalate. Still, although the infection may have been spread around the festival, it is more likely that much of the diagnoses were people who had herpes to begin with.

The outbreak may have also resulted from the effects of partying during the event. If your like me, and your body is nothing more than mere trash, with an immune system weaker than the Miami Dolphin’s offensive line, you might be subject to any infection, one of which could be herpes. The same thing could be said to happen at this week’s upcoming event: Springfest. Take a group of kids who may have herpes lying dormant in their system, then sprinkle in a lack of sleep, excess drugs and alcohol and boom, you got students running around with cold sores claiming to have “gotten herpes at Springfest.”

To clarify, I didn’t go to Coachella and my herpes has yet to be determined as I have not sent any unholy pictures of my body to be scrutinized by the medical professionals working on HerpAlert. My intention with this piece is to simply highlight how conceptually crazy concepts continue to be believed and consumed by the masses. Take care of yourselves, make smart decisions, and stop spreading your filthy infections, you animals.