5 Emotional Stages Of Learning About The Chiptole E. Coli Outbreak

Today is a very sad day for Chipotle and its many fans, like me. According to the Centers for Disease Control, additional cases of E. coli have been linked to Chipotle. The strain of STEC 026 has reached more states, with a total of 45 people in six states now affected: California (2), Minnesota (2), New York (1), Ohio (1), Oregon (13), and Washington (26).

Many Chipotle stores in the Pacific Northwest closed this month, as a result of 22 people getting E. coli in Oregon and Washington. The cases have been discovered by the CDC using whole genome sequencing, which is a process that reveals the complete DNA make-up of an organism. According to the CDC:

The epidemiologic evidence available at this time suggests that a common meal item or ingredient served at Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurants in several states is a likely source of this outbreak. The investigation is still ongoing to determine what specific food is linked to illness.

As someone who’s had severe food poisoning where E. coli was thought to be the cause, I know it’s no fun for anybody involved. I don't blame people for being hesitant to eat at Chipotle (even though, if you think about it, 45 people out of the thousands who probably eat there daily is not a lot). But still. With its stock dipping as much as nine percent this afternoon, I am preemptively mourning the loss of my favorite, healthy fast-food-without-being-fast-food love, Chipotle.

I’m experiencing the Kübler-Ross model’s five stages of grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance.

1. Grief

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How can lunchtime go on without my Chipotle fix?!

2. Anger

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How dare E. coli contaminate something at my favorite food chain and make so many people sick — and make the rest of us scared to eat there?

3. Bargaining

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Please, Mexican food gods, can you make everyone better and stop the E. coli outbreaks? I promise to continue being a great customer and go there even more than once a day.

4. Depression

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I. Cannot. Go. On. Without. Chipotle. In. My. Life. (I live for that green-chili salsa on top of my chicken-and-corn burrito — not to mention the guacamole! — and it's haunting my dreams!)

5. Acceptance

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I’m glad I know the Serenity Prayer at times like this: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”

As far as the E. coli outbreaks are concerned, all any of us can do is pray and hope that the end is near, right?

Images: Getty Images (1); Giphy (5)