Saturday, May 2, 2009

H1N1 QUARANTINE. THE Flu has hit California

The end of the first full day of quarantine. It has been disconcerting. At first we were alerted that students not only were to stay home from school, but that they were not to go out, must stay in the house. That was worrisome. Had there been some further mutation of the flu virus no one was telling us about, were our children safe, could we expect the tyvek suited guys from ET to show up on our doorsteps?

And we needed milk on top of it. One more thing I failed to prepare for- quarantine. If the students had to stay in, what about the parents? Could we ethically go to the grocery store if we promised not to sneeze?

Luckily we were next told that though students would be prohibited from returning from school for two weeks, students could now leave the house, wander around town presumably, but could not congregate with other students. We could take the kids with us to pick up milk, I guessed, as long as the other parents weren't doing the same. Suddenly it didn't seem so scary. And we would have more information soon. The flurry of information we initially got ended on Friday evening, however, and there has been no more over the weekend as if a pandemic holds business hours. The illness that prompted the quarantine is still listed on the school web site as a "probable" case of H1N1. We don't have a hint of who it was who might have swine flu much less how he or she is doing.

There is a disconnect between the idea of contagion so dangerous a quarantine must be instituted, yet no sign of it. Instead, there is a slight giddiness about town, a nervous excitement I suppose, and a feeling of snow days called resulting in an additional two week spring break. So far- this is an abstract calamity, but for having to cancel appointments, a party and a coffee date. Oh, and there's the paranoid headache, maybe a slight sore throat, which is probably nothing. I'm sure we'll be fine.

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