Swine Flu

I hope my kids and I have faster-than-average immunity from the H1N1 vaccine.

ViolinsMy kids’ violin teacher arranged a concert at the local nursing home.  It’s a good performance opportunity for the students, and the residents love to have visitors.  I think the staff enjoys it, too, to know that they’re not forgotten.

The day of the concert we arrived, everyone dressed all spiffy, excited to play for someone other than the family members who are obligated to attend recitals.

Before we even had the chance to unload our instruments, a staff member met us in the parking lot.  She regretted to inform us that they were in the process of closing the building to visitors because they had (at least one) case of swine flu.  Therefore, no visitors – especially school children.

Too late.  My children and I had been there the previous day.  There were a lot of residents who weren’t feeling well – enough that I commented on it.  Of course they all wanted a hug.  A few always give us a peck on the cheek.

Usually staff keeps sick people in their rooms, and I’ve come to view the nursing home as one of the places we can go where we’re least likely to be around sick people.  I was miffed that they had exposed us, and used a lot of hand sanitizer that day — I still had to breath the air, though.

If it takes the vaccine two weeks to be effective, my kids and I could end up sick since we hadn’t had that much time between getting our shots and being exposed.  Do I sound little bit concerned about this?

Everyone says that elderly people aren’t considered at-risk.  A few seniors with whom I am acquainted have been very upset that they couldn’t get the H1N1 vaccine.  From their perspective, it sounded as if the health department was expecting a particularly deadly strain of flu and instead of preventing the disease, officials would be using this as a way to trim the medicare rolls and get costs back under control.  Most of the people I’ve discussed this with hadn’t realized that they’ve already lived through this particular strain of flu, so are probably already immune.  Obviously, not all of them are.

Until now, I’ve been happy with the timing of our shots, knowing that we would be able to build immunity before sharing germs with extended family over Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Maybe those precautions weren’t enough.

But I can’t live my life in a bubble.  It’s interesting, trying to figure out the right balance.

What steps do you take to avoid being exposed to illness?
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5 thoughts on “Swine Flu

  1. I do like you do, WarmSocks. I wash my hands or use hand sanitizing gel every time I think about it, and I’m growing accustomed to thinking about it a lot. I obviously would prefer to avoid being exposed to H1N1 at all, but as you said, I can’t live my life in a bubble. So the risk is always at hand.

    I hope that you and your kids don’t get sick. Fingers are crossed, for what it’s worth. And if any of you do, I hope that it’s over quickly and without complications.

    I haven’t had the H1N1 vaccination yet. It still hasn’t been available in my area, though I haven’t been down to the VA med center where I get my care for a while. I think I’ll call today and ask about that. In the meantime, I’m just doing what I can and keeping my fingers crossed for me, too.

    Be well.

  2. I hope you and your kids stay healthy.

    It’s frustrating when others aren’t as careful as we need them to be. But you’re right, we can’t live in a bubble. I hope your vaccines have started to take effect, and you continue to feel fine.

  3. The good news is that the vast majority of swine flu cases are quite mild. My son got it about 3 weeks ago. About 1-2 days of mild fever, some coughing, and fatigue. Many of our friends had it and it was the same. No one else in the family got it thus far. No vaccine here yet but I figured I’m already exposed.

    Praying that all of you stay away from the flu!
    Andrew

    • Glad you’ve only seen mild illness. My brothers’ kids had the flu and missed more than a week of school. My husband’s co-workers who’ve had it were extremely ill. I’m hoping that my daughter isn’t sick too long.

  4. This post was actually written last week (sometimes I write ahead and schedule them to post at a later date – a nice feature on WordPress). I have a few posts scheduled to go up in the next couple days, but I don’t anticipate writing new ones or keeping up on my blogreader if I’m taking care of sick kids. One child got sick this morning. She was fine when she got up; an hour later she felt awful. I hope 1) it’s not flu, 2) it doesn’t last long, 3) nobody else gets it.

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