Friday, January 11, 2013

Everybody's Getting Down with the Sickness....

Except me.

I'm sickies here... for now...knock on wood.

But, Oh Em Gee!  The kids at school are dropping like flies.  I've never seen anything like it!

You all know that the day after Christmas, Jelly started running a fever.  The fever last all of one day, and then she spent the next ten days on the couch barely eating and sleeping the whole time because she was so sick.  TEN WHOLE DAYS.  And what was worse was the fact that several of those days she would wake up all chipper and seeming to feel better - and within a few short hours, she'd be back to feeling like crap and passed out on the couch.  Well, she had the flu that turned in to a sinus infection and an ear infection.

Now, it appears as though there is a flu epidemic.

On Monday, I had two kids absent.  On Tuesday, I had seven kids absent.  On Wednesday, four kids absent, and yesterday four kids again.  And my class appears to be the lucky one.  One of the other fourth grade teachers had ten of her kids out from being sick.

And our school isn't the only one...from what I'm seeing on Facebook, there are many schools in our area having the same issue.

Which, of course, has led to many Facebook discussions about people not wanting to send their kids to school just in case their kid gets sick...or bashing public schools because the kids are getting sick and not protecting other kids from getting sick.

Lord, give me strength.

No surprise, Facebook has become an arena for yet another argument.

Look, I understand that no parent wants their child to get sick.  I get that...really, I do.  But, blaming the public school system?

When you work in a building with 20+ kids in each room, having about 20 rooms...that's a lot of kids.  The chances that a kid may come in with the sniffles or a cold and passes it on to someone else is going to happen.  IT. JUST. IS.  There's no amount of disinfecting, cleaning or sanitizing that will prevent it.

When a child is taken to the doctor's office or the grocery store or church...they get exposed to stuff in the exact same way - yet, I don't see anyone bashing those places.  Nope.  It's the public school system's fault.  Geez.

My child got sick the day after Christmas.  She'd been out of school for a week.  And you know where she got it from?  My parent's house.  One of the kids there had been sick, passed it on to Jelly, who then passed it on to my mom, who then passed it on to my niece.  And then Peanut was sick for two days...where did she get it from?  Yep.  My house.

All of this has caused me to get sick...not physically...mentally.  I'm really sick of seeing everything being the fault of public schools.  Let's not focus on the fact that teachers are care-givers, educators, back-up parents, etc., etc.  Now we are also supposed to be healers?  Come on!  Cut us some slack!

I want to know how many of those school bashers out there call in to work because someone else at work got sick - and they don't want to catch it.  And, let's face it, adults get sick too.  A lot of the time from work. And probably end up passing it on to their kids when they get home.  But, I'm pretty sure that if any of those people were to have called in to work ahead of time and told their boss that they wouldn't be coming back to work until there were no sick people - that person wouldn't have a job to go back to.

What I'm trying to get at is that, yes, there is a flu epidemic going on right now.  It's not nice to think about.  Preventative measures should be taken.  But, keeping a child home because there is a possibility that they might get sick is just ridiculous...blaming the schools for the sickness is even worse.

Another of the many job functions I perform as a teacher is trying to prepare the kids for futures in "the real world".  That means being responsible, showing up, and doing the work that's expected.  The real world just doesn't allow for not showing up to work from the chance that you might get sick.

And the media doesn't help by reporting that there has been some child deaths related to the outbreak of flu - I get that.  I don't blame parents for wanting to be protective of their kids.  But, what the media usually fails to report is the fact that the kids that do pass away from the flu usually have a compromised immune system, were severely dehydrated, or some other complication.  I probably shouldn't even mention that there are deaths related to flu EVERY SINGLE YEAR.  This year really isn't that different.

It's not something anyone wants to think about or face... and I know that it can be scary to send your children off to a place where there's a possibility they may sit next to someone who is sick.  Totally, 100% get that.  I'm a parent before being a teacher - and I protect my children.

But, if a child isn't sick - they need to be at school.

And that's all I'm going to say about that.



  1. I hate this flu and I hate the media about it because it makes me more nervous than I already am as a parent with a sick kid. I agree with you though - we can't become hermits to protect ourselves. It's where we grocery shop, church, the gas station - everywhere. That's just a fact. I hate it all. LOL

  2. This biggest problem with what the parents are saying about it being the schools' fault (I'm a teacher too) is that they are the ones sending their child to school with the sniffles. I had a student on Thursday who spent the whole class lying down. I'm had students over the past few weeks coming to school with the red rim of death eyes. I've had students telling me their whole house had the flu except them and then they sneeze or cough in class and I create a Lysol cloud around me. Why? Because I don't want to get sick-- again.

    That's right. I went down with the flu during Christmas break (after I finished taking antibiotics for strep just a week prior). My Christmas and my children's Christmas was spent in bed fighting fever and the flu. For the whole first week of vacation (I think mine moved into a sinus infection as well but I had antibiotics in the house already so used those). So we went down at the start of this "epidemic". Turns out most of my classes had it during the winter break as well.

    I've had the flu once before and it NEEEEEEEVER felt like that or lasted as long as that. Now they have a sort of "super" flu that is merging with the stomach flu. So kids are getting regular flu aches, fever, and pain mixed with vomiting and diarrhea. Fortunately, that skipped me (one kid got the vomiting) but I had a student who came to school on Wednesday looking like death and was out on Friday with the "super" one.

    What I'm going to do is find a mini Lysol spray and use it in public-- doors of everywhere, shopping carts, and handles because there are a lot of nasty people in this world-- OUTSIDE of the public school. (Geesh, private school doesn't get sick???)


Tell me what's on your mind - I love to hear from you!