Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Darker Truth

My Cheerful Teaching Assistant was sick for a week straight. She missed some work. When she was on site, she sniffled, snuffled and hacked for hours at a time. She is still not quite up to par. During the worst of her illness, I tidied up her desk for her, got tissues when she needed them and was virtually at her elbow should she have a single unmet need. I love my CTA. (enough to exaggerate a little bit about how incredibly helpful I was, but I did do stuff...honest!)

Yesterday I was at a Safety Procedures Training and one of my classmates was quite ill. She went through about a billion tissues and drooped ever further towards her desktop as the day progressed. I inquired as to her well-being several times and even stayed a bit after everyone else left for the day to make sure she was OK to drive home. I didn't once use hand sanitizer after we were required to make contact while practicing physical restraints. At least not in her line of sight...

Today The Charming Boy Who Gets Away With Way More Than He Should was sick. Not just a little bit sick. A lot bit sick. He could barely remain upright in his seat. His color was off and the best he could muster in the way of speech was a helpless croak. I patted his back twice during the day and checked his brow for fever. I couldn't really do much else. The CBWGAWWMTHS loses about five years from his true chronological age when he is sick and I am helpless in the presence of his sad face. I let him sleep in the unused classroom area for most of the day. He made a lot of snuffly noises back there.

I was kind to these people. I cared. Their welfare was of interest to me and I expressed my concern with great sincerity. But I'd be lying if I said that was my primary emotion. I wish I could say that I was a selfless being while those around me labored beneath their burdens.

Mostly, though, I was thinking about how I'd like to wrap these people in protective plastic.

I feel badly about it. I don't like to think of myself as the kind of person who puts herself first. But I'm so horrified by the number of germs circling about me these days that I can't help it. I can only hope that I didn't let it show while I was faking generosity...

If you need me, I'll just be over here bathing in hand sanitizer and boiling the knitting needles. I can't boil the knitting because that is wool and I think we all know what a bad idea that is. But everything else? Fair game for the boiling.

I wonder if any of the plague carriers will bring me a tissue or wipe my fevered brow once I've contracted their various diseases. Or if I'll see the same look of horror in their eyes that is currently in mine...

SA

11 comments:

kmkat said...

I just read an article (on boingboing? LifeHacker? don't remember) about research that showed that getting a good night's sleep every single night will help you avoid getting sick. (Yeah, like we didn't already know that.) The study concluded that those who consistently got less than 7 hours/night were 3 times as likely to catch a cold. (They actually put the people into closed spaced and exposed them to colds virus.)

So. Knit a little and go to bed! Mama Kat has spoken!

Mel said...

You and David are of singular mind in this regard. The former-landladies-who-are-now-just-neighbors and I keep saying we should construct him a plastic bubble to spend his life inside.

For most nasties, you only need to get the water to about 180F, so you could always pasteurize the wool rather than going for full on sterilization, which you'd really only need to worry about if anthrax were a concern.

trek said...

Careful about boiling the circular needles!!!

It is the beginning of the school year ick going 'round and 'round. The CTA has it. I have it. We are trying to get rid of it - but not aiming it at Sheep.

Kath said...

I basically figure that if anyone sneezes within arms reach of me I have the right to spray them and the space between us with Lysol. That's my rule and hey - at least it keeps those sniffly people at a distance!

Mia said...

Good thing you don't work in a hospital *grin* Funny thing is tho - I almost never get a cold! Maybe I've become immune!

::hug::
mia

Karen said...

Personally I'd like a space suit for myself. Then I could be nice and in proximity but free from their germs.

Lorraine said...

Gah, we now have chicken pox at our house. UGH! Aren't you glad you live, like, a thousand miles away.

My word verification is coldst. Bad omen?

Julie said...

Maybe you should start thinking about wrapping yourself in protective plastic.

I think you deserve hazard pay for working in such conditions!

Cursing Mama said...

Possibly you could boil the wool and make a felted face mask for yourself. In fact, with the piggy flu on the news all the time, I bet you could knit & sell felted face masks in fun colors in your spare time. That kind of production could keep the kitty's in greenies for quite some time.

knitseashore said...

Maybe some of these people have bad allergies? At the beginning of the month I was so sick-looking you would have thought I had the plague, but it was just the onset of those Things That Grow In The Backyard that had me hacking and choking and using a forest's worth of Kleenex. Fingers crossed that the CTA and students are not contagious!

I keep wondering when we will be forced to wear those masks like the students and workers in Japan?

debsnm said...

You know, given your past history (remember the Monkey-Pox??) I don't blame you at all. If it were me, I'd be spraying them and their belongings down with Lysol. Good luck, and may you stay well!