On Thursday night, around dinnertime, I received the news in my email inbox: we were to become part of history.
Our kids’ school has been closed because of swine flu.
There is one case of Influenza A in the 3rd grade, and a parent of a 5th grader has it also. Apparently, one cannot be diagnosed with True Swine Flu unless hospitalized; swine flu is a type of influenza A, that’s what doctors’ offices can confirm, and for our school’s principal, that is close enough.
I turned on the evening news, expecting to see live coverage of this latest school closure. There was nothing. I checked the New York Times in the morning. Nothing. Apparently, schools across NYC have been closing quietly for the last week or two, and the news has stopped covering it either 1) so as not to terrify us, or 2) so as not to bore us enough to change the channel.
I think we’re all sick of being terrified by the Latest Plague, whether it’s ebola or E. coli or avian bird flu or SARS, and I, at least, am giving swine flu a big yawn, even as it has shut down my child’s school, possibly for the rest of the year. Whatever, I think. They probably all have it by now anyway.
This is probably not the proper attitude to have, but here I am in the midst of an apparent epidemic and it has not– yet– changed my life, besides screwing up my weekday routine all to hell.
If my kids start coughing, I will probably rue mentioning this.