Don't worry. Non of us has swine flu, nor do we know anybody that has it. But our school system is taking steps to prevent a swine flu outbreak because there have been confirmed cases of swine flu in the Fort Worth school district.
Garrett was supposed to take a field trip with his preschool classmates to the Fort Worth Zoo tomorrow, and I was going to chaperon. We found out today that this and all field trips in the school district are cancelled until further notice. I am very disappointed about this because I was looking forward to taking pictures of all the kiddos looking at the animals at the zoo with their looks of wonder and amazement. Since Garrett can't really tell me much about what he does at school, this would have been a good time to see how he interacts with them. I suspect Ava is his favorite because that's who he talks about the most. Our conversations go like this:
Me: "Did you play with your friends at school today?"
Garrett nods his head.
Me: "Who did you play with?"
Me: "Who else?"
Me: "Who else?"
Garrett: "Adam." (Adam hasn't gone to his school since before Christmas.)
As you can see, Garrett is less than forthcoming (by not forthcoming I mean "not able") when it comes to telling me about what he does at school, so I was looking forward to seeing him in action. I have gone to his classroom a few times, but my presence there is more disrupting than helpful, so I don't go often.
Although I am disappointed about not going to the zoo tomorrow, I agree with the school district's decision. As I said above, Fort Worth school district has one confirmed case and 3 or 4 suspected cases, so they shut down the entire school district until May 8 at the earliest. The dividing line between our school district and Fort Worth school district is less than 5 miles away, so that's pretty close to home. There have also been several confirmed cases in Dallas and a few other surrounding cities. I would rather everyone stay home for a week or so than have Dallas/Fort Worth look like Mexico City does now, a ghost town. Even though we haven't seen a lot of cases yet, the swine flu has brought one of the largest cities in the world to its knees, and that's nothing to sneeze at (pun intended). People here are concerned about a major flu outbreak. There is a large Mexican/American population and a lot of travel back and forth to Mexico, so chances are good that we will see more cases.
I went to several drug stores today to get surgical masks for me and Garrett. He has a doctor's appointment tomorrow with the neurologist. Even though the neurologist won't be treating sick patients, per se, his office is in the professional building with a catwalk to Children's Hospital. That sounds like a high risk place to me, so I thought I'd get some surgical masks. But, of course, they were sold out everywhere. A worker at Walgreen's told me that even painter's masks at Home Depot or Lowe's were sold out. I'll call the Dr.'s office tomorrow and see if they recommend we come or not. I've already lined up child care for Erin and would really like to get this appointment over with. Garrett only goes once a year to make sure he is progressing in his development and not falling farther behind.
Our plans for this weekend are to stay home and avoid contact with other people until the swine flu scare is over. It may seem like fear mongering to some people, but what would you say if we didn't take precautions and it turned out to be a major pandemic with thousands dying. It's not worth the risk.