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Ostracized for Swine Flu

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A friend's son had swine flu a few weeks back ... and none of her friends wanted to be around her as a result.

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Momlogic's Julie: When my friend's 4-year-old had swine flu a few weeks back, she kept him out of school for a week, just like the doctor instructed her to. She and her husband took turns taking off work so they could be with their little boy. But on the days they DID have to go into work, they got the evil eye from coworkers, who were worried they were being exposed.

When my friend's husband went to a cocktail party one evening, he noticed no one would talk to him or even be near him. And when their kid finally WAS allowed back in school, they felt they got the cold shoulder from the preschool staff.

Another friend whose daughter had swine flu ran to the store for some milk. She bumped into an acquaintance, who proceeded to read her the riot act for "being out in public and exposing others," even though she herself was not even sick.

With all of the hysteria surrounding swine flu, people are more paranoid than ever about getting it. So if they hear the term "H1N1," they go running for the hills.

But are the parents of swine flu victims being unfairly ostracized? Or do parents have the right to be extra cautious, even if that means distancing themselves from their friends? Comment below.

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5 comments so far | Post a comment now
PlumbLucky November 11, 2009, 5:33 AM

My boss put himself under quarantine (worked from home) when his daughters had it because he was feeling a bit under the weather himself. He also told a coworker (who called this morning to say he was running late because he overslept because he wasn’t feeling well) to stay home and work from there if he felt up to it. There are enough of us in the office with very young children that the bosses are attempting to curb the amount of illness spread at work, especially this year when we’ve cut staff so deeply.

Does anyone know if the H1N1 is something where you can have it but it might not affect you adversely/have a mild case? If this is the case, I don’t think I’d be as obnoxious as to yell at someone for being in public and exposing others, but I’d be wary. (The CDC link I looked at doesn’t really say this, but it does say that caregivers should be very very careful while taking care of an ill child, and that people in high risk groups should not be caregivers for ill children)

Sara November 11, 2009, 7:41 AM

When our family, one by one, came down with the swine flu we were “ostracized” but I expected it! I told anyone coming to our door from kids friends showing up to see if the kids could play to the mail man that they should stay back “just in case” one of us was coming down with it since others in the hosue were sick. I don’t blame people for wanting to keep their distance. I would have done the same thing! People should NOT be rude, but reasonably keeping a distance I really don’t think is crazy considering the hysteria in the media over this.

Lisa November 11, 2009, 5:01 PM

I had a similar experience when my 3-year old came down with H1N1. Thankfully, it was mild, but we kept her out of daycare for a week. My husband and I took turns staying home with her. Neither my husband or I got the flu. When my daughter returned to daycare, neither she nor my husband or I were ostracized. I did feel a little “weird” at work tho. I work in a small office and both of my bosses stayed home the whole week, with hardly a word about how my daughter was doing. I feel as tho the media is creating a lot of the hysteria around the flu. According to the CDC, it’s a serious issue for anyone with asthma, upper respiratory problems, compromised immune system or pregnant women. For generally healthy people, the flu will probably be mild.

Stefanie November 17, 2009, 8:05 PM

This makes me sad that people would do something like that to others. I can relate to their concerns since right now I’m pregnant. My husband has already decided that if he gets it, he’s going elsewhere so I don’t become infected. As a far as contracting it, if you aren’t affected by seasonal colds, or have a healthy immune system, you’ll be fine.

Emily January 6, 2010, 12:54 AM

Too bad I didn’t get the swine flu (I also did not get the vaccine). All the stupid people panicking over it makes me want to just go out and cough and sneeze everywhere.
Germs and viruses are all over the place. You cannot escape them. Stop panicking over every little thing.

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