One thing we’ve always been very aware of, having five kids in tow, is how easily germs and other ‘lurgy’ can find their way from classroom to living room. It has become almost part of the yearly routine when they all head off back to the confines of their classes after a long summer break to share stories, experiences and of course all the new germs they have encountered during their travels. Last year we got off lightly with little more than a scratchy throat which lasted only a few days.
This week, however, heralds the onset of something far more sinister. A few days ago rumours started about one of the local primary schools having high absences because of a ‘tummy bug’. A couple of days later, most of the school were off with this ‘tummy bug’. Now the school has been completely closed. The reason – Norovirus!
This particular primary school is in the same catchment area as the much larger Comprehensive school nearby.
Am I being a little over-critical in my assessment here, or are my more mature years making me somewhat paranoid? But bearing in mind the number of younger brothers and sisters from the neighbouring primary school, and the need to already send home some students who have already shown symptoms of the virus, is this not simply a ticking bomb? I do have a certain knowledge on such matters including epidemiology and human health and disease, and I know that an environment such as a large secondary school must surely be an ideal breeding ground for such a virus. Is the inevitable being awaited or will the school escape the wrath of hordes of puking, incontinent teenagers?
Two of those aforementioned teenagers live with us. Now we’ve personally laid down the law very thickly… wash hands, clean towels every 5 mins, disinfect handles and surfaces, no licking the toilet seat etc. all the usual stuff. But, I’m still worried that this beasty will take a hold tomorrow or the day after and ruin our weekend. Yes, losing a bit of weight is always desirable, but not that way – please!
Just in case (sounds familiar, doesn’t it… last week’s silly names?) we’ll do a bulk buy loo-roll trip and make sure that we have everything that we might need to stop the potential ruin of the weekend. However, what would you do? Would your hunch be to keep them away from this breeding ground of all things foul or would you throw caution to the wind and keep them going there in the vain hope that they are less favoured by the beasty and that they’ll pull through unscathed?