Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Save Yourselves!!!! Cough into your elbow.

My kids are dropping like flies and I am considering wearing a personal SCUBA suit with my own air supply to school. Yesterday, 5 kids were out and as the day wore on, I steadily lost more. The first one came to me about 9 am. "Mrs. Lewis? I really don't feel well" Normally, you look at a kid and say "Well, what does that mean? What doesn't feel well?" But you could totally see that this kid was truly ill. Glassy eyes, flushed, kind of teetering as he stood. So I sent him to the clinic where he was promptly packed up and sent home with a fever of 100.
30 minutes later?
"Mrs. Lewis?" That one threw up.
15 minutes after that? The next victim. Fever of 101.1
Then came, in this order, fever, fever, vomit.

By lunch time, the body count was at 5.
One girl managed to sneeze (and not once, like 5 million times)  through almost the entire day. I asked her if she had a cold but she swore it was just allergies. Watching her wilt after lunch, it was clear that she had also been struck down.  After making her way through an entire box of tissues, I sent her packing. Fever. 100.

Looking at the survivors, I declared it was "decontamination" time. Like "Hammer Time", but not as much fun.
Last year, my kids were always sick, so this year I bought the economy size jar of cold and flu antiseptic wipes in August. I thought I  was being super smart and that I would not need them until January. Wrong. Each kid got a wipe (or six) and we proceeded to clean desks, chairs, scissors, markers, door handles, table tops and anything and everything they touch. Now I am not a fan of the anti-bacterial stuff. I think regular soap and water is fine, and, in fact, I think you need a few buggers crawling around to keep you healthy. I don't like it and never, ever use it. But this is war! We have already been washing our hands like we were in some sort of OCD Olympic event, but now? Now we sing as we wash. 2 rounds of "Happy Birthday" as we scrub, rub and beat those germs into submission. We have watched a hand-washing video (yes, there is one from the CDC that we are actually required to watch) we have left all our windows open, even though this creates a tornado-like effect in our room and everything has to be weighed down. (Including some of the smaller children) While we are doing everything humanly possible to keep ourselves healthy, I realize that I may be waging a losing battle and that I may have been defeated already by a fourth grade ritual.  There was a sleepover Friday night. The majority of those there have already succumbed. I am waiting for the other shoe to drop. I fear that by Thursday we will look like passengers on a Japanese commuter train. You know the ones that wear the white surgical masks?

I must believe, however, that I WILL BE VICTORIOUS! My remaining kids will stay healthy and hopefully some of the fallen will return this week. On the brighter side? We have been coloring and watching movies for 2 days. Can't get much done when half the class is gone. Now excuse me, I have to go find the 612oz  bottle of hand sanitizer I bought from BJ's.


  1. You are the greatest. You make me laugh at high volume.


    Clinton K

  2. Good luck Jen!! It is nuts up here too -- they are already closing some schools because of lack of staff and students!

  3. UGH! good luck in your war on germs. Luke and gavin have been sporting snotty noses for weeks now, and they are not even in school yet! super fun.

  4. Get your flu shot now!


  5. MN closed one school today. I am counting on your being victorious! (Or having the only semi-healthy class in the school)