Beliefnet
Their Bad Mother

Jasper is, as I’ve mentioned, sick: respiratory difficulties of some sort or another that haven’t yet been fully determined. What we do know, or think that we know: it’s not swine flu. Which is a relief. Of sorts.

We can’t really rest easy – indeed, we’re pretty likely to be resting entirely uneasily – until Jasper is well again. Because he’s ill, he can’t get the vaccine. Because he’s ill, he’s more vulnerable than he’d be otherwise to the virus. Because it’s his respiratory system that’s vulnerable, any viral attack could be very, very dangerous to him. Too dangerous.

Yesterday, a healthy young boy in our city died of swine flu. He was diagnosed with regular flu last week after falling ill, felt improved enough to play hockey on Saturday, and then fell ill again that evening. His parents took him to a clinic on Sunday, where they were told it would pass. Evan Frustaglio went bed on Sunday evening, and stopped breathing, and when his parents went to wake him, he was gone.

Just like that. GONE.

I am not exaggerating when I say that this news makes me want to a) keep Jasper – keep Jasper and Emilia – indoors for the rest of flu season, and b) have Jasper sleep right beside me so that I can lay awake and monitor his breathing until I am certain – as certain as I can be – that the greatest risk has passed. Or until I go mad from sleep-deprivation. Whichever comes first.

The first option is not a viable option. The second, well… I’d like to say that I’m sort of kidding, but I’m not. But as much effort I’ll put into that second option, it’s not the answer. I don’t know what the answer is. Live with my worry, I guess.

And this: implore you all to please, please vaccinate your children if you can. Stay home if you fall ill. Wash your hands. Do whatever you can to stop this from spreading. Containment only works if we all do it. Don’t put any children at risk.

Please.

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