I noticed that a lot of people left facebook updates on how sick they are feeling*. And every single time, somebody made a joke about swine flu. I'm guilty of a comment or two. Swine flu has a certain ring to it, and it's easy to make fun of how crazy the media gets. I'm pretty sure we all made the same jokes about bird flu. And I bet the early half of the previous century was ripe with polio jokes.
Doll: HAHA! You probably have POLIO!
Guy: I can't feel my legs...
It's hard not to make fun of something that might be kind of scary. I have to admit, I took extra precautions when going anywhere with my kids. And you better believe I made Eric wash his hands when he came home from work. Because swine flu, any flu, is funny only as long as it stays out of my house.
My sister-in-law Heather, who is a nurse and has dealt with sick people Crazy way more than anyone should have to, made a good point the other night in saying that some people are just happier being sick. That may be part of the reason swine flu gets so much attention. I'll buy that, because I think I'm guilty of it, to some extent. My mom used to treat us like princesses when we were sick. New sheets on the bed, blanket on the couch, with all-day television and overflowing glasses of juice and sprite. Warm bath at night. She would play with our hair until we fell asleep, and when we'd wake up, she would give us an extra day just to recover. Being sick, as long as we weren't really all that sick, was kind of awesome. I don't want anyone to get swine flu, and if it hits pandemic status, I'm not going to going around licking faces to up my chances of getting it, but if I DO get it, I bet my mom will come over and bring me juice. That's all I'm saying.
I think I should probably start putting snakes in my kids' beds when they get feverish, so they never associate sickness with those good feelings. The last thing this world needs is a couple more Lisa Rinnas.
*Those facebookers who were sick never once claimed swine flu. Please don't misinterpret this post as me calling you out on feeling like crap this weekend.