I live in Dallas. We are widely considered ground zero for Swine Flu. Dallas is one of the first cities identified with the Swine Flu and it was originally tracked back to the I35 corridor which runs straight through the heart of Dallas right to Mexico. The first deaths from Swine Flu were reported in Texas. As a result I know many, many people and students who have had the Swine Flu. So, let me tell you a little secret about the Swine Flu, it isn’t that big of a deal. Oh sure, we’ve had deaths, and it isn’t something that should be ignored if contracted, but mass hysteria is definitely not warranted. I’ve had a variety of students contract and recover from the Swine Flu. Most of my students get the illness and spend about two days at home with Tamiflu and then they are on the mend. Most confirm that it was a horrible cold, but that is about it. I’m in the highest risk category of people to contract Swine Flu. I have two small children in school, I’m a teacher and I’m pregnant. I could not be higher risk if I tried. Am I concerned? Nah, not really. I haven’t had the flu shot or the Swine Flu vaccine. I’m not against the vaccine and indeed if offered it I probably will take it, but getting the flu shot or the Swine Flu vaccine has been nearly impossible and so I haven’t worried about it. The biggest and most important thing to look for is a quick onset of a high fever. Although everyone in the family has been sick this cold season we have yet to experience fever.
We have not had any school closures even though many schools are facing high absentee rates. I have not kept my children home nor would I. My only worry, as of this point, is Max and that is simply because every cold he gets aggravates his chronically swollen tonsils and makes everything worst for him. However, my precautions pretty much entail monitoring his temperature closely when he doesn’t feel well and keeping him home from school when I can.
I know many of you are concerned about this illness and are struggling with whether or not to keep your children home from school. I can’t make that decision for you but I hope hearing about what it is like in one of the worst parts of the country for Swine Flu will put your mind at ease. Remember, the media only reports the worst cases, but the majority of cases are just a really bad cold.