Saturday, January 9, 2010

Smitten By The Bug

One afternoon,my five year old came running to me, shrieking with excitement , “Mom!!, I caught the bug.!”. With mixed feelings and uncertainty, I exclaimed ‘What?’ What do you mean? . He then paused for a while and stuttered, ‘But I hit it before it bit me’. Before I could act in response, he opened his miniature palm and showed me a harmless dead Beetle. It took me a while to realize why my son was so hysterical, he was in fact telling me that he had just killed the carrier of the Swine Flu. Yes! The swine flu has punched everyone at home - Oh no- God forbid -we have not been bitten by the bug but more or less smitten by it. Hence the trail of destruction: the chaos and the confusion that it has brought alongside..

A few days back, the children’s school had organized a field trip to the Dolphin show. My son was so thrilled that he was talking nineteen to the dozen about the forthcoming trip. Alas! His dreams were shattered when the school cancelled the program, because many parents didn’t like the idea of their ward mingling with a large crowd in close quarters, due to Swine Flu. Outdoor games and sports activities have been postponed due to this latest bug fear! The school also sent out circulars, to keep the children at home, if they had a minor cold or a cough. Although this sounded absurd! I silently agreed…

Whenever my youngsters wanted to venture out for the weekend, I would just get alarmed and would coerce them into agreeing to go to a less crowded place, so that they wouldn’t have to inhale any contaminated air. The girls have stopped coming with us to the market place because they fear the perpetrators could be mingling in the already congested area .And then, one weekend, when we eventually decided it was no point being wedged at home and set out as one big enthusiastic family, when out of the blue, a thunderous sneeze from a passerby, made all of us jump up in panic, apprehensively wondering if with that kind of sternutation (which I assumed was a replica of ‘Achoo Syndrome’ ) , all the air around got multiplied with the transmittable germs .With visions of the flu - bugs clouding up the air ,we quickly left the vicinity.

Even with all the extra guidelines especially to the children, on how to prevent themselves, from being hit by this particular virus, they tend to forget about it once they get out to play their usual rough and tumble games. As we never know if the playground is already tainted with this airborne bug, I often wonder how they would get the opportunity to clean themselves in case of a fall and when they get all messed up during playtime at school. In all probability, they’ll come home in that state carrying all the contagious droplets with them, which I think would be too late to purge those microbes out of their system.

I am, like everyone, deeply concerned about this flu which has already affected many people globally .This air-borne virus haphazardly harms both adults and children. Isn’t its time we educate ourselves in all aspects of this subject . It’s never too late to cautiously learn more about this bug that keeps bugging us, so as to be in a better position to deal with this latest flu-influenza, which is better known as Swine Flu, when in actuality ,drifts toward us.