As most schools are, we are currently on Swine Flu Watch. Unfortunately, my classroom has turned into something resembling a hospital waiting room what with all the allergy issues, asthma related breathing problems, spring colds and hacking coughs. But I am vigilant. Vigilant in my search for Swine Flu-esque symptoms. Or really, any symptoms that say Why the Heck Did Your Parents Send You To School Today When You Looked Like This?? Some schools have parents who are afraid their children to class because of the fear of sickness. I have parents (multiple parents) who lately have taken to dropping their children off, mentioning to me that they have a) been throwing up all night, b) have a fever of almost 100 or c) can't seem to stop coughing before they run out the door. Perhaps my favorite of these folks was the non-working parent who also thought to tell me she was sending her son to school because she didn't want him to stay home and get the other little brother sick. Granted, she told me to call if her son seemed "really bad", but to me throwing up all night/high fever/incessant coughing equals "really bad" and enough reason to stay home for a day.
One of these friends was Big Boy. It was so sad. He tried so hard all morning to do what we were doing and seem alert. But by 10:30 he had his head down, was partly asleep and had snot running all over his desk. In short, he was a mess. In an act of mercy, I sent him down to the nurse with a buddy an Official Pass. (God forbid I forget to use an Official Pass because a post it note just won't do.)
So Big Boy is gone for awhile and I'm thinking, maybe he's going to get to go home and get some much needed sleep. Big Boy comes up for his back pack and jacket. A good sign...
Then he tells me (read: wheezes) that he needs to wait upstairs (cough cough) for his mom to (hack sniff) come and get him.
Lately, thanks to the Swine Flu, we have been inundated with information that states we are to isolate the individual with the flu like symptoms until they are able to leave the building. We are, under no circumstances, to keep the child in the classroom.
I dig out another Official Pass and scribble a note suggesting that perhaps, just perhaps, we allow Big Boy to rest in her office, where it is quiet and I don't know, contained, until his mother comes. Big Boy goes back down stairs.
One minute later, Big Boy comes back upstairs (I'm sure that sort of intense cardio is awesome for flu sufferers) with another note that reads, "Dear Mrs. Mimi, I do not want to catch whatever this boy has. Please keep him in YOUR classroom until his mother comes."
Um. What? I'm fairly certain that sick children come with the territory, friend. I hear you on not wanting to get sick...but when you're the nurse? Call me crazy, but maybe, just maybe, keeping the OTHER CHILDREN germ free should be the priority. I'm just sayin...