Category Archives: Swine Flu!

Swine Flu Part Deux

I woke up yesterday morning to the sounds of Gordon Keith announcing on radio station KTCK that a child has died of swine flu in Texas.  “Oh, boy,” I thought.  “Now everything’s been taken up a notch.” Just when we were comforting ourselves and our children by letting them know that, in spite of the fact that swine flu hit our elementary school, there hadn’t been any deaths in the U.S.–  one occurs. And in our own state!  A singing David Byrne and the Talking Heads began to fill my own head: “This ain’t no disco, this ain’t no party, this ain’t no fooling around”…I decided I’d better cancel going to my exercise class today, as the older women in there probably wouldn’t have appreciated my swine-flu-tainted presence.  Some of them have been through chemo and I know their immune systems are down (no, I’m not looking for excuses not to exercise– I love that class, it’s stretching and muscle toning for an hour and a half!!)  

As storm clouds rolled in for what is supposed to be (according to the news) three days of rain, my teenager woke up and announced that she was going back to bed and going to school late.  We’d let her babysit the night before– not usually done on a schoolnight but the mom had told her they’d be back by 11 and I figured, my daughter stays up that late anyway so why not?– but they didn’t get back until 12… so, I could sympathize with her, but refused to write an  “Epstein’s mother’s doctor” excuse (you had to have watched “Welcome Back Kotter”  to get that joke).  I’m tired, too,  I told her, but that doesn’t mean I get to postpone or cancel my responsibilities.  “If you stay home, you’ll be taking a tardy or an unexcused absence,” I said. She slept and slept in spite of my repeated reminders of the time, and was very late getting to school… I’m sure another reason she wanted to stay home was because her sister got to, but also, because it is TAKS week (TAKS is a series of  insidious, fairly easy proficiency tests taken by all public school children in Texas in varying years), those students not taking TAKS on certain days literally get to “goof off” (yet another reason why I hate TAKS) so she didn’t see the point of going.  And when I picked her up after school let out, it did seem a little ridiculous for her to have attended– the school district has a heightened concern about our students and swine flu, yet they’re encouraging them to come together just to have “free reading time” in Language Arts and watch “National Treasure II” in Social Studies class? Go figure. 

I spent the day much like I did Tuesday, working at the computer, yet Tuesday was much crazier. My 10-year-old, Emmie, had been on the TV news the night before and lots of people were e-mailing and calling.  In addition, Emmie’s extra-curricular activities were canceling right and left- first a piano lesson (the teacher was flying on a plane the next day and didn’t want to get exposed to any more germs than necessary), then a Girl Scout troop visit to a retirement home, then, after getting an email from the county health department that they didn’t want any kids from my child’s school to gather with other children, I decided to pull her out of gymnastics class this week. And then, I got word that my Scout troop would have to cancel their two-night campout in East Texas scheduled for this weekend, since almost half the girls in the troop attend the “tainted” elementary school.  I really thought that horseback riding, swimming, and cooking outdoors would be welcome relief for a bunch of girls who had been cooped up all week, but I understand the camp’s health/safety concerns. As the troop leader, I had to break the news to everyone else in the troop.

Emmie has been doing some pretty constructive things with her “quarantine time”– printing off logic puzzles from the Internet and immersing herself in them for hours, working on Scout badge activities, reading, making a fort, playing Webkinz…at lunch Tuesday we had a pretty interesting conversation, one I would have missed if I hadn’t heeded her request to sit down at the kitchen table while eating lunch, instead of at my computer… she was asking why kids have to be so careful while on the Internet, she didn’t understand why adults would go to so much trouble to hurt kids– which got us into a discussion on child predators (and I mean a much more in-depth conversation than previously, now that she knows about the Birds and the Bees…).  Priceless!! (But at the same time, sad that the topic even exists…)

By yesterday evening, Texas’ governor had declared the state a disaster zone (much like his hair) and my husband brought home a stack of N95 masks from Home Depot  (actually, to protect him while blowing insulation in the attic this weekend, but how ironic is that!).  As President Obama tried to calm everyone’s fears and the entire Fort Worth school system shut down, I pushed a cart full of groceries to my car in the dark and pouring rain, wondering if it had washed away all that costly sanitizer I saw being sprayed all over our school.  The news photographs showed one worker aiming it all the way up the flagpole.  (Who do they think attends Canyon Creek Elementary– Curious George?)

The Swine Flu Is At My Child’s School

Just wanted to let my blog readers know that chaos is breaking out in my neighborhood– my 10-year-old’s elementary school here in Richardson, TX is closed for the rest of the week as there is a confirmed case of swine flu there and possibly two more.  They are discouraging going out of the house and interacting with others so we will be house-bound for the week– I will keep you all posted via this blog. We may not get swine flu but we just may get cabin fever!