Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Swine Flu

The threat of swine flu has sent me into a worried tizzy. I check the news updates every 5 minutes. I've started coughing and my throat feels scratchy. I google swine flu symptoms. Then I google hypochondriac. I decide that I need to put my energy somewhere constructive, so I go to Costco to stock-up on emergency supplies. I call mi madre while I'm there.

"Hi. This is Katy. May I please speak with mi madre?"

"This is she."

"This is your daughter."

"I know."

"Have you heard about the swine flu? Mexico City has been shut down. The end is near. I've started looking for real estate in Independence, Missouri. I'm at Costco buying water, bleach, and plastic so I can quarantine my house."

There's a long pause and sigh, "Last night we listened to the most beautiful pipe organ concert. You'd of been so proud of your brother."

"Have you been listening to NPR?" I say.


"It's bad, Madre."

I know she doesn't want to hear my litany of worries. Heaven knows she's endured them for 35 years. Like when I was 12, I made her take me to the doctor because I thought, from the depths of my soul, that I had breast cancer. The lumps in my chest turned out to be breast buds. (I'm still waiting for them to bloom.)

Then there was the Night Stalker, a serial killer who would break into homes at night and kill women. I refused to sleep in my room. I hid in a tent in our family room and watched the news 24/7. I don't think I slept for six months. I really thought I was his next victim.

Then I was balding, as in going bald like an 80 year old man. She took me to the doctor; I wasn't balding.

I tell mi madre goodbye and try to put my swine flu worries on hold. I traipse over to the medicine isle, scanning the shelves: Motrin, Tylenol, Gas-X. Where's the Valium? I need a double dose.

p.s.--This morning I found this cup on the counter. She makes a good point.


  1. Hi Kate, hope I'm not belittling your concern, but thought your post was very funny - thanks

  2. I can't remotely get whipped up about swine flu. Stop listening to NPR for a few days. It's their job to keep us stirred up about the economy, about the middle-east, global warming and now our imminent deaths. Go plant a garden. Sit in the sun. Make me a black feather thingamajig.

  3. That's what I love about you, Louise. You're so practical. I did keep my kids home from school today, just in case. And I'm going to Walmart to buy 3 gallons of Purell. I'll turn off NPR, except I heart the Diane Ream Show, so maybe I'll just leave the radio on.

  4. I went to Costco this a.m. too. Forgot to get water and wipes...I was looking for masks and gloves!!

    PS Is that dehydro food in the white buckets any good??

  5. I have no idea if it's any good. It's a bucket filled with piece of mind. I've bought 2 so far. I had a hard time finding Purell. Today I'm just letting it go because my check engine light just came on. We might be riding the bus until my next payday. Just kidding.

    I loved the necklace you were wearing on Sunday. It was so eye catching.

  6. Did you hear Louise, Joylyn? She'd be a much more positive visiting teacher than I am. Don't worry, be happy! Right?

  7. I meant to drop the am in that sentence.

  8. I meant Jolyn. You know I know how to spell your name. I adore you!

  9. Today I got a call from a good friend of mine. She too kept her daughters home from school. Yesterday as she was picking up her daughter from school, a fellow parent in her daughter's class was wearing a face mask. Her daughter then proceeds to tell her that a girl in her class said that her mom has Swine Flu. The same mom that she saw in the parking lot!!!! (The girl was called into the office and practically suspended for lying!) Anyways, my friend tells me that I shouldn't go with our girls this weekend camping for girl scouts!! It's dangerous!! Swine Flu is now in Ventura County, where we are camping!!!!! I'm sorry, you know I love you, and my friend, but I couldn't help but laugh! I'm sure we should be concerned, but we can't stop living. Lightning could strike us and we could perish that way.
    So then...I go to your blog..and this is your latest post. You and your kids will be fine! Stop watching all that news! It's NOT good for you. I NEVER watch the news...too much crap on there!!!

  10. Lori, your comments are like listening to a Bob Marley song. You're music to my ears. You're like the Valium I wish I could take. Thank heavens for friends. I'm only 25% worried about the bird flu. I should be more worried about saving my marriage. If I don't clean the whites tonight, it might be over. Just kidding. He adores me even though there's 20 loads of laundry to be done. I'm on this computer way too much!

  11. There's another typo in that bit. The church is still true.

  12. Your plain crazy.... and that's one thing I love about you!@

    ps.. If you really want to stay away from swine flu you might want to cut out your walmart trips...I'm just saying..

  13. ah you make me laugh... you like bob marley? I choose my friends by what kind of music they listen to... you are now at the top of my list.

  14. oh yeah and Hannah's cup... thats awesome.

  15. I forgot to tell you what an awesome job you did on Sunday....speaking that is...

    And why do we worry so much about this swine...I mean H1N1 flu...when there's like less than 10 cases in AZ...and probably 1000's of people walking around with TB and other kinds of flu and crap...

    BTW..I only go to grocery stores that have the handy wipes to clean my cart...and Walmart even has them...
    But up until now only because of my fear of someone's peanut-oily hands smeared all over it!

    PS. I'm waiting for the picture of a Jean Kate flower-feather-jeweled mask!!

  16. You're brilliant, Jolyn. That may be a million dollar idea.

  17. Katy- when I need an uplift I read your blog!1 You are too funny - I too have a scratchy throat and have started massive amounts of Vit C. We are flying nest weekend..hmmm I might have to wear one of those masks. Did you get those for your "swine" stash? Glad you guys are so cute and having such a good time. Love the hair "duds'! And yes, they do grow up....just as you did. I still remember the saving of money for the Jordache jeans.....

  18. Your not the only one worried about the swine flu.I was talking to my Dad on the phone the other night and told him I was worried about Rubi getting the swine flu and he said that it's no different than the regular flu. He said that on average one hundred thousand people die every year from the regular flu. I know that's not very comforting.

  19. Your blog is so popular mom! You got 21 comments! Tell me your tips! The highest I got was only 10!!!