Have tried like hell not to stay glued to NPR and CNN. To not click on the Twitter links and to ignore the well-intentioned emails from friends and family proscribing the Top X things you should be doing to protect yourself from the swine flu.
But I'm not trying to ignore it because I believe something as stupid as ignorance is bliss or that it's all hype or even that people are overreacting. It's because I will fucking obsess over this. Oh, I soooo will.
After I dropped off the kids this morning, all I could think of is what a horrible irresponsible mother I was being. OF COURSE someone in their school of 200 went to Mexico for Spring Break. OF COURSE they did. And here I was, just dumping them into the lion's den with a nice lunch, a sloppy kiss, and a double-pump of Purell. Yeah, that should just about do it.
And then for the rest of the day I kept thinking about the random fevers they had in Texas. The sneezing and runny nose he's had of late that've been keeping him up for the past two nights. My own swollen tonsils. Saia's complaints of achy bones. The bezillion enclosed spaces -- read: germ incubators -- we've been to over the last few weeks, including grocery stores, schools, airports, airplanes, restaurants, and (gasp!) Starbucks.
And I feel the paranoia back-building. Brewing and stirring beneath my heart, speeding up my palpitations at the very remote possibility, but a distinct possibility nonetheless, that one of us, or someone I know, will come down with this.
And that it will kill them.
And yes, that's exactly where my mind goes. That they, like me, will treat it like any other cold. Will not race to the ER at the first sign of a fever. Will try home rememdies, like we've always done. And will lose someone close to us for not taking precautions.
But when those precautions mean we have to go sit in a hypergerminator like an ER or Urgent Care waiting room, how do you choose??? Because if they really didn't have the swine flu when you went in there, they're definitely coming out with some wicked concoction that could be 10 times worse, you know?
So, what? What do we do? And how will we know when to do it? And will doing it be enough or will it just be too late?