Friday, 24 July 2009

You Swine

The school holidays are under way. Traditionally in our household one or other or both of our children instantly become sick a few seconds after the final bell rings and spend the first week of the holidays dosed up on Calpol and Ibuprofen. It is as if their little bodies struggle through the final weeks of sports days, class assemblies and dressing up days - this year a circus theme. Matty and Sam went as strong-man and elephant trainer respectively – and then, when the excitement is over, they wilt and cough and sneeze and descend into puddles of sweat and puking misery. This year however both boys seem fit and healthy, if a little tired and scratchy.

Obviously this is good news, doubly so because of the lurking threat of Swine flu. It is a relief to know that H1N1 (the post code for Walls, incidentally) is typically a mild variant of the influenza virus, and only a danger to those with underlying health issues. Of course, being someone with the odd underlying health issue I have to refrain from poking the television with a stick every time some smug government spokesperson assures the country that Britain leads the world in pandemic readiness. I'm glad we do lead the world but when we are told “So-and-so died of complications arising from Swine flu BUT they had underlying health issues,” I am not, unlike the vast majority, greatly reassured.

I refuse to cower in self-imposed isolation but I would appreciate it if you are feeling under the weather that you stay (say 15 metres) away from me. At least until the much vaunted Swine flu vaccine is available. Meanwhile, I'll be clutching my batch of Tamiflu close to my chest