Yesterday, one of my coworker received a call from his wife asking if she should pull their little girl from preschool because of concerns over the Swine Flu. They live in Delaware near where four U 0f D students have been confirmed to have Swine Flu. They decided to keep her in school for now, but we talked a little about it after he got of the phone. We couldn't come up with any good way to decide.
The topic came up again when I picked Michael up yesterday. My mom asked me if she should take Michael to his gym class today. I felt it was OK. I knew it was going to be rainy today, and I hate to think that my mom would be cooped up with him all day.
My comfort level changed this morning while I was watching the news. There is a suspected case of Swine Flu in my county. I don't really know what that means on a practical level, but on an emotional level, it's a bit scary. It's one thing when people are getting sick in another state, but when they may be circulating in my neighborhood, that's a whole different matter.
Andy and I discussed it a little, than my mom and I did as well. I figured it's probably safe enough at this point, so I left it up to my mom if she wanted to take him to class or not. By the time I did my morning check-in call, I wasn't feeling as positive about it. Fortunately, my mom must have been feeling the same way about it, because she told me she wasn't going to take him.
Missing on class isn't a big deal. But we will need to make this decision again and again until the flu season eventually end. Is it safe to let Michael go to a friend's birthday party on Sunday? That's more important than the gym class he missed. We need sandals and summer clothes for Michael. Is it safe to go to the outlets to shop? What about his classes next week, and the week after that? How long is it fair to keep him cooped up?
It really comes down to a risk benefit analysis, but I don't feel I have the information I need to make smart decisions in this situation. Obviously, the right level of caution is somewhere between stockpiling food and not leaving the house for a month and running around the playground licking all of the equipment. I just don't know what the appropriate precautions are to take.
I guess for now we'll just have to keep an eye on the news and make our decisions based on what we know at the time. Hopefully I can find the right balance.