Listen, friends. I’m currently sporting my specialized brand of holiday anxiety. This is not the time to try me. I’m engineering the runaway train bound for Christmas. Trees, decorations, outfits, pictures, concerts, gift exchanges, cards, shopping, school parties. ALL OF IT. I’m livin’ on a razor’s edge here so it’s easier than a mincemeat pie to tip me over it, (what IS a mincemeat pie anyway?)
Well people, I’ve been tipped.
Attention please: STOP BEING SO MOTHER FLUFFING FLUPID.
The first step for eradicating utter flupidity (flu stupidity) is by getting a flu shot. I can’t even fully digress because I might blow a blood vessel. But get a damn flu shot. If you think flu shots are dumb, or you get your medical data from Reddit, or you claim to have gotten the flu from the flu shot, immediately go to cdc.gov or any other REPUTABLE source and educate yourselves. And if you think the government and “big pharma” are in on a flu shot selling, people killing conspiracy which makes you leery of the CDC, just keep walking. I don’t have time for your brand of oils. I would also implore you to speak to the parent of an immunocompromised or legit vaccine averse child but I ain’t got time for introductions today.
It’s heeeeeeeere. The dreaded three letter word: FLU. It has arrived at our school and I’m officially triggered. Not because it’s out there. It is winter after all. And not even because people choose to reject the one and only thing that can prevent it.
I’m triggered because my kid is coming home and telling me that other kids are coming to school looking like death. PEOPLE ARE KNOWINGLY SENDING THEIR KIDS TO SCHOOL SICK.
Listen. I’m just gonna say it. You’re an asshole if you send your kid to school sick. You are a special kind of asshole if you send your kid to school with the flu.
Now, I’m going to give the benefit of the doubt here, and assume that the kids going to school sick haven’t officially tested positive for flu. BUT IT DOESN’T EVEN MATTER. There are exactly NO situations in which ANY child in ANY school should be sent to school symptomatic. ZERO. And they sure as shit should not show up with a fever (not even one kept at bay with medicine for four hours at a time).
Yeah, yeah. Easy for me to say, you’re thinking. I am a stay at home mom and don’t have to worry about sick time and missed work. Right?
School is NOT a babysitting service. Your level of inconvenience over your sick child does NOT trump the health of other children. Full stop.
But you know what’s worse than sending a sick kid to school so you don’t have to burn a sick day? Sending your sick kid to school so s/he is eligible to play in a sporting event.
If your kid is a five-star recruit and this is the state championship of his senior year, coming to school visibly ill is inconsiderate. If your kid is just a run of the mill athlete and this is middle school B-league sports, it is irresponsible and selfish.
But you wanna know what makes it downright abhorrent?
When another kid on the team is immunocompromised because he’s being treated with chemotherapy for cancer.
PAUSE FOR DRAMATIC EFFECT AND DEEP, CALMING BREATHS.
Look. My kids are fully and responsibly vaccinated. I’m pumping them with elderberry, constantly telling them to wash their hands and keeping my fingers crossed. I don’t want to see my child suffering with the flu for a week during the holidays or any other time. We’ve been there. It sucks Christmas balls.
But for the love of Baby Jesus, this is not about my kids. Well maybe it is a little, it’s about all kids, really.
But this is ESPECIALLY about the kid undergoing chemo treatments. The kid who cannot afford to get sick because it can interrupt his chemo schedule. This is ESPECIALLY about the kid who has a sibling at home whose immunity was wiped out by his cancer treatment. It’s about the kid who could end up hospitalized for the same thing your kid can suck it up at school with.
These kids actually exist in our school. And whoever you are, you know it.
Shame on you.
Choosing to do this means that you are willing to put other children’s lives and/or life-saving cancer treatments at risk for your own convenience or for the desires of your own otherwise healthy kid.
That makes you a grade-A jerk.
Parents, PLEASE. PLEASE! I’M BEGGING! Think about other people, other kids, healthy and not. Don’t act selfishly at the risk of harming others. Don’t send your kid to school sick. Not around the holidays—not ever.
Be kind. Be considerate. Have a little compassion. Try to imagine what it would feel like if it was YOUR child who could suffer catastrophically because of someone else’s selfish decision. That’s a paralyzing anxiety that some parents live with every day. Be sensitive to that. Game or no game, test or no test, concert or no concert, keep your effing germs at home. Someone else’s life may actually depend on it.
In other words: DON’T BE A FLUPID ASSHOLE.
(Sorry for the choice ragey words and shouty caps. Also, If this sounds judgey, that’s because it unapologetically is).