The Flu and why this one’s different

Two of our children have what looks like the flu. They are all right. Arwen is actually singing and prancing around like nothing happened. But Savannah had been pretty cheerful after 3 days of absence from school, then stopped eating ‘cause nothing felt good in her sore throat. She laid around a lot yesterday.

I’m not one to run to the doctor whenever a bug hits, unless there’s a symptom obviously inconsistent with bugs they’ve had in the past. (Savannah’s strep test was negative on Wednesday.) So when the preschool said Arwen needs 2 days symptom free, instead of the typical 24 hours, and the elementary school said Savannah may need a doctor’s note to come back to school, that know-it-all parent reared her head in the back of mine.

Something about telling a grown woman what to do with her children really steps on our parenting toes. (Daddies too, I’m sure!) I’ve not seen any reason why swine flu is worse than the regular flu. Thousands die in the U.S. every year of the flu, mostly old victims, I understand, who actually fall prey to pneumonia.

But in talking to others, I realized the caution I should heed in taking care of my children. Like every now and then, when one of them gets a bloody wound, I realize how parents must’ve worried before medicines became more available in this country, about a small wound turning gangrenous. We are diligent about vitamin C, not too crazy on the sugar which lowers the immune system, washing hands when we get home…. but come 11 o’clock, I skulked around their bedrooms, listening for the dreaded rattling of pneumonia in their little lungs.

I heard a story of a woman who’s 3 year old girl had been sick. The hospitals were full, and the girl seemed to be getting better. They laid down on the couch together while the girl’s lungs eventually filled with water, and she died beside her mother.

So I’m skulking, listening, asking questions about chest pain… thank you mayoclinic.com…. and they are playing right now, getting pretty loud actually. Savannah finally found yogurt and honey slid down very nicely, and she immediately perked up!

You know what makes this flu different? People I’ve spoken to are realizing that, at this point, no American’s have died, but 150 Mexican’s have. Now why is that? Are so many living on corn wraps and beans? living in poverty? without medicine? or proper education? I’d like to hear why. I’d like to hear someone in the media spell that out for me.