Lil Red’s eyes a lil red for some reason

Mysterious symptoms have been spreading across campus and affecting several students, and it is believed that Lil Red may be the possible Patient Zero. The scare began this morning after multiple eyewitness reports indicated that the beloved mascot was displaying bizarre quirks and behaviors after emerging from a grove of nearby bushes.

“[Lil Red] seemed really off today,” biology major Rachel Alvarez said with a look of concern. “He was acting super paranoid and his eyes were straight-up bloodshot. I sure hope he’s doing okay; he definitely wasn’t his usual self.”

The situation became more worrisome after the mascot began rambling about the universe, aliens, why we exist and various conspiracy theories to no one in particular. Bystanders noticed that something was severely wrong when he stared at a Valentino’s menu in the student union for three hours, trying to decide what to order. Emergency services were then called to the scene.

“Oh man, this looks bad,” said paramedic Will McClure as he observed the same symptoms from a few dozen students in the room. “We’ve seen this before and it’s usually more prevalent in places like music festivals, cat-filled apartments and Colorado. I didn’t think it would spread this far.”

Moments later, helicopters could be heard hovering above as a large, translucent dome was dropped around the exterior of the building, trapping everyone inside. CDC workers in hazmat suits stormed the commons, telling everyone to remain calm and that this was, “only a temporary quarantine.”

This only harshed the mellow of the room as stunned onlookers gawked at the chaos. Some decided to scatter despite being completely surrounded and were caught almost immediately. Others sat and started quietly giggling, despite there not being anything funny about the situation.

“Yep, this isn’t anything new,” said CDC representative Chuck Collingsworth. “We’ve seen this disease for years, even decades, and we still haven’t pinned down what it is exactly. All we know is that the random laughing attacks, paranoia, slowed reaction time and insatiable hunger are incurable as of today, which is enough to turn these poor souls into the monsters they’ll become”.

“It only lasts about an hour though, then they just fall asleep,” he added.