Thursday, August 28, 2014

The F-Word

For #ThrowbackThursday, I'm offering something from November 10, 2009.

Same class today as yesterday. We're still reading Animal Farm.

It was 3rd period. One girl had a wad of tissue on her desk. She was coughing and she looked miserable. She had been absent yesterday. She probably should have stayed home today.

I don't remember why I said it. I'm sure something prompted it. I asked if she was sure she didn't have the flu.

The class was rather loud. Everyone was talking. So, I was surprised when the room went silent after I said it.

A couple students glanced sideways at her. I saw a boy go for the hand sanitizer (every class has a bottle of the stuff now). No one got too close.

Well, I guess we're all being careful. Even the teenagers.

I'm trying to recall why exactly we were so flu paranoid then. Was this when the flu vaccine was in short supply? Or was there a particularly virulent outbreak? Or both? I'm not sure where to look this up, so help me out, please. This was the fall/winter of 2009. Why were we so worried?


  1. There was a flu pandemic involving the H1N1 or Swine Flu.

    1. Thanks. I couldn't remember what it was, and I was too lazy to look it up.

  2. Yep, I remember that scare. We were afraid of death. I used to get sinus infections, though, and even when my doctor said I wasn't contagious, my co-workers would freak out. "I don't want to catch what you have." I guess they thought I was lying about my doctor saying it wasn't contagious.

    1. I remember the paranoia, but not the cause. I blocked it out, I guess.

  3. I remember one afternoon at The Store, I was stuck in the fitting rooms and had just eaten a pretzel or something. It got stuck in my throat, so I was coughing quite a bit when this lady came back to try on clothes. She stopped dead, looked and me and said, "You're not sick, are you?"

    I choked a little longer, then managed to croak, "No, I'm just choking."

    She said, "Oh, okay. Good."

    And went into a fitting room.

    People can be incredibly flu-paranoid.

  4. I read through the comments and then remembered the H1N1 fear. I can see why they would have been a bit worried. We were grocery shopping and there was a lady in there just filling up her basket with staples because she didn't want to leave the house for weeks, fearful of that flu.


  5. Fear that the media loves to propagate. There was SARS and the H1N1. What is funny/sad is that thousands of people die each year from the flu and that is never reported. I am glad that hand sanitizers are being used and kids are more knowledgeable to stay away from the poor girl.

  6. What amazes me is how many people come in to the library when they are sick to get books to read. More often it's a parent or spouse that comes in but I've had quite a few people tell me that they just left work or the doctors and want a recommendation for a good book to read while they are stuck in bed. Then they usually cough or sneeze and ask me for a Kleenex.


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