Germ Free-For-All

I love Timehop and its cute little mascot Abe–the dinosaur in the app who so kindly reminds me of all the things that were once important to me, but that I have somehow forgotten not long after posting them to my social media outlet of choice.

He also helps me participate in Throwback Thursday, and this morning, he very kindly reminded me of the Swine Flu panic of 2009. We were nearing epidemic status, and the media was feeding the frenzy with reports that absolutely no healthcare provider on the planet had a vaccine.

When news broke that by some miracle, my local health department had scored a limited supply of H1N1 vaccinations, I took my high-risk self (asthma, Crohn’s Disease and various immuno-suppressants give me that honor) to the parking lot of the university football stadium and sat in line for an hour to get shot up with the coveted serum.


Now, six years later, sitting in the back of the Young One’s Brownie scout meeting, I’m crossing my fingers that a few drops of that vaccine might still be swimming through my blood.

It’s a germ free-for-all over there.




One little watery-eyed girl left 10 minutes into the meeting. I’m not sure why her mom brought her to start with. The mom walked in and announced, “She’s not feeling well. I don’t know how long she’ll stay.”

She stayed just long enough to cough on all the other Brownies, fill three tissues and wipe her germ-infested hands all over the table.

I needed some hand sanitizer, and I’m 20 feet away.

That was the troop leader. When watery-eyed girl’s mom made her declaration about her sick kid, Typhoid Troop Leader shared that she was just getting over the sickness too. Fortunately, she covers her mouth when she coughs…with her hand…right before she passes out the snack.


Who was that? Oh…Typhoid Troop Leader’s kid. Figures.


Dang! That was the red-nosed redhead sitting across the friendship circle from the Young One.

I’m probably over-reacting, but my throat is starting to hurt. I need to go home, chug some cough medicine and suck on a zinc lozenge.

Who was that?

Great. Red-nosed redhead’s mom just walked in. Her eyes are as red as her daughter’s head and nose. “I don’t know what I got,” she said over a cough. “I feel awful. I think it’s the flu.”

Really, Patient Zero? Really? Did your doctor tell you the best way to treat the flu is to expose your highly contagious self to as many eight-year-olds as possible?

Hey! I have an idea for the next meeting. Let’s add an accessory to the uniform–a medical face mask! And as the community service project, let’s spray each other down with disinfectant.


Oh, crap.

That was me.


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