Swines and Flu

I keep meaning to write a blog called “Ronald McDonald is the Antichrist,” but I haven’t got the energy.  I’m feeling unwell, and my littlest daughter has been sick for days and days.  Tomorrow: adventures in medicine. 


In the meantime, go read this, especially if you are a man who wonders why it’s so hard to meet women.  The most interesting comment on the piece comes from a high school teacher, who writes:

My 17 year old students are generally (initially) alarmingly resistant to discussions of feminism—they’re scared to alienate each other and ill informed about the term. But, a few years ago I decided to start our unit with some basic questions about gender: do you think you should feel safe in your workplace? do you think men and women should have equal access to education? The last question I include on the survey, adapted from Jean Kilbourne’s Can’t Buy Me Love, is “You’ve parked your car in a far off lot at the mall. You’re now leaving, and it’s late. List the steps you take as you walk to your car to keep yourself safe.” In each of the 10-12 groups of students I’ve taught since, the girls scribble furiously for several minutes, while the boys say things like, “Wait, is this a dangerous neighborhood?” or “Wait, I don’t understand the question” or “What do you mean, ’safe’?”When the girls share what they have written (ways to carry keys, avoiding parking near vans people can hide in and grab you, not walking past bushes, dialing nine-one on their phone and keeping it in their hand in case they need to dial that last one, carrying piping hot coffee they could hurl at someone in a pinch, singing loudly so people don’t walk near them), the boys are inevitably shocked, and say things like “I have never even HEARD of that!” It’s VERY illuminating for students, and often the first time they have ever considered how different the worlds in which we live actually are.


Don’t know if I should hope that my kid has swine flu or not.  If she does, when she’s better she’ll be immune and I won’t have to worry about it anymore, right?


Medical Update:  The pediatrician was entirely unimpressed by Little Bit’s symptoms and sent us away without any prescriptions or flu tests or anything.  In fact, she carefully avoided using the word “flu” at all, even though LB has had a fever for six straight days and is coughing like a sixty-year-old smoker.  When I asked, she said the only time they test for H1N1 is when the patient is so sick they are headed for the hospital, immunocompromised, or pregnant.  Little Bit, thankfully, is none of those things.  The doctor also made a vague remark about severe medication shortages, which I interpreted as, “She’s not that sick, so don’t be asking me for no Tamiflu.” 

After we left, I thought of the question I should have asked:  After LB gets better, how will I know if I should get her vaccinated for H1N1, when I won’t know if she’s had it or not?

So, it appears we are looking at several more days out of school.  Oh well, the teacher’s not there, anyway.  She’s got the flu.

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12 thoughts on “Swines and Flu

  1. In my non-expert opinion — right.  That’s what I’ve been telling myself about the whole H1N1 thing.  We’d rather avoid it, but if we get it — it’s done and we can move on to whatever the next nail biter may be!  Sorry you’re both feeling sick – swinish or not.  That teacher’s comments are very interesting — makes me want to remember to teach my son all the same things as my daughter since I’d rather have 2 overly cautious kids than just one.

  2. Right!  That’s what I keep thinking.  That’s so true about the parking lot thing.  Men are so clueless.  My own husband makes me nuts on Saturday nights (date nights) because he will park in the farthest, darkest, scariest corner of the parking lot with no regard to safety.  If he thinks about it at all, I guess he assumes he can protect us.  I doubt he thinks about it, though.  I wonder what it says about me that I get nervous even when I’m with him.

  3. My husband worries about safety, but he was raised by a single mother who was also ultra-paranoid.  Thusfar I have spent a total of 0 minutes worrying about the swine flu.  I’m kind of a fatalist when it comes to disease.  Not so much with parking lots, though.  I’ll be careful in parking lots.Ronald McDonald is a VERY SCARY CLOWN.  Funny how I never realized that when I was younger, but the older I get, the more freakish and terrifying he becomes.

  4. Hope everyone feels better soon.   Flu…or whatever it is….just wipes you out.   As far as safety practices go, common sense goes a long way in deciding where to park and walk, etc.   Also, a good course in self-defense would sure come in handy in an emergency.   It helps if you’re a ferocious looking polar bear.

  5. I  am bothered by a  lack of local guidance about swine flu where One of my son’s has quadriplegia and his doctor  had no clue when or even if he would have the vaccine to give so i am left waiting to see if the health department will offer it soon.I will be vaccinating him and his sister  if I can.I wish you could know for sure about your child and that the rest of you stay well or recover quickly.

  6. I don’t plan to get my kids the H1N1 vaccine, but that’s a good point – it would be good to know if that’s what, in fact, your daughter has!  Really, I don’t think doctors have any clue on what to do other than send people home with tylenol and hot tea.   I really hope your daughter (and you) are well soon!!  

  7. What kind of doctor doesn’t care if the kid has had a fever for 6 straight days?  If she isn’t a whole lot better tomorrow I’d take her to the emergency room and ask for a flu test.  Who knows, maybe some there will care that she’s sick.  What did your doctor say about you?  Are you as sick as Little Bit?  Please don’t wait until it turns into pneumonia.Nothing the teacher wrote should come as a surprise.  At least not to women.  The women’s movement in the 70’s was not just about equal pay, it was also about teaching girls and women how to keep themselves safe. Up until then, rape was a joke…literally.  Cops used to leer and laugh at any woman who reported a rape.  It’s still hard to get a conviction.  Bravo to this teacher for trying to educate ALL of her students.

  8. @Rockinbear05 – It’s not that the doctor didn’t care.  She’s just seen umpteen kids in the same condition, and there’s nothing to be done but wait for it to clear itself up.  I just seem to have a cold–I’m not nearly as sick as LB is.  Click on the link and read the piece that the teacher was responding to.  It’s very well done.

  9. The whole swine flu thing is pissing me off.  I just went through this with my husband.  CDC and local media are urging us all to go to the dr with the merest sign of a flu symptom.  However, although a 2 hour wait to the Urgent Care netted a (negative) flu rapid test, we were told that you have to be awfully damn sick, or at least look awfully damn sick, to be tested specifically for H1N1.  (My husband who didn’t look sick enough for the Urgent Care doc actually had a “whopping case” of walking pneumonia.)  So we’re all supposed to be scared of swine flu and vaccinated for it, but we can’t be vacinnated because there aren’t enough doses and the local hospital has no idea when more doses will be coming in, and we can’t be seen by the dr if we’re sick because we’re not sick enough, and we’re not supposed to panic because most people with swine flu have mild cases of the flu.  How the hell do they know, if you can’t be tested for swine flu if you have a mild case??   Grrr. I hope you and Little Bit feel better soon.  🙂

  10. @mkr_ohio – I know!  It’s maddening!  And the media continues to stoke the panic fires constantly with all the stories about how many kids have died from H1N1.  But the stats they keep quoting about the prevalence of the disease are meaningless, because they won’t freaking test anyone.  Anyway, Little Bit is doing much better today, and if her feverlessness continues through the day, she can go to school tomorrow–yay!

  11. That’s crap that they wouldn’t test her!  They are testing anyone who goes to the doctor or ER here… I haven’t caught it (yet) I imagine it’s coming… and I’m knocked up, so that could really cause problems… they already put me on Tamiflu because I’ve been exposed, but I didn’t realize that I basically need to be on it until the epidemic is over, so I imagine I’ll still catch it at some point.

  12. As for the safety dealy, I would think that both sexes would worry about being safe.  I’m pretty sure my father doesn’t walk around like he’s Superman, feeling all extra safe and stuff.  Maybe it has to do with being 65 and not 25, who knows?  But man, sometimes MY head switches back and forth like some sort of weird-ass toy, suspicious of EVERYONE, young, old, man, woman, doesn’t matter.  I’m going to assume that these young men were just full of testosterone and don’t feel scared about anything, including doing stupid stunts like Jackass.  I mean, it just makes sense to be safe, dammit, no matter what sex you happen to be–come on, chances are that the criminal’s got the upper hand (and the gun IN his hand), while you’ve got nothing but either urine or shit in your pants…if you haven’t had a heart attack.I’m going to chalk it up to those boys being young and really stupid, because they also could be victims of crime, and are probably more likely to, due to various statistics.  Then again, THEY wouldn’t know that…that would involve reading!

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