Friday, March 13, 2009

A Post In Which........


This is a post in which I describe how I single-handedly took on public health at a small high school. I've been sick most of this week with a pretty ripping cold. It is the same disease, doubtless, that flies through the air at some 300 mph every time one of my students coughs and doesn't cover his or her mouth. It is the same one that exists in the tissues they do not throw away, and the same one that they share with each other via that communal bag of potato chips. Although I have only missed one day at school I have missed enough to my other job as Acupuncturist to total over $300. (I should say that the three days I taught I had my symptoms quite controlled with herbs and supplements, so I didn't feel like I was putting anyone more at risk than they already were.) But worse than loss of income I can't pet the rabbits, or do their training because rabbits can catch colds from humans, I read this in the House Rabbit book. And BF is quite unhappy that he may be the next victim. Today I presented my 11th grade Drawing class with the following:

I should say that students are encouraged to come to school sick for the morning classes, lest they miss an important experience. This certainly doesn't help keep the healthy population unexposed. It would seem, too, that although they have had some sort of health education in terms of sex and drugs and such like, the handling of contagious diseases of the respiratory sort has been overlooked. Once they voiced their opinion that I was just mad because I got sick, they did have to concede that pretty much the whole school was sick because during morning exercise (a whole school activity) once one person coughed the whole school was coughing. A poll revealed that everyone except one girl had been sick in the 11th grade. I suspect her extended vacation in Mexico may have cooked the virus out.  I bought some very nice essential oil hand sanitizer and soap too, and some bleach wipes. Though I don't use bleach for cleaning myself I do have a certain respect for it in terms of germ extermination. Several years ago one of my brothers had a bone marrow transplant for a tricky cancer. I took care of him, post procedure, at "The Transplant House" where all the patients are walking around with someone else's parts. Caregivers had to keep the communal kitchen very, very clean and the rule was you had to wipe down all surfaces with bleach wipes. It is imprinted in my mind as something you do in an extreme circumstance; like epidemics. Although these purchased substances and my presentation brought a certain amount of mirth quite a few students used the hand sanitizer and everyone covered their cough (approximately one third of the class was coughing). I found out that another teacher was telling them to cover their mouths with their hands for coughing, this was not followed by the order to wash hands, resulting in a mass of germs on the hands that go all over desks, door knobs, etc.......(sigh......)  I put a flyer with a short explanatory note in every teacher's mail tray and invited them to follow suit. At the very least my classes will have a higher level of hygiene.......

Sydney says "Rabbits are self cleaning mammals, why can't humans follow our lead?"


12 comments:

PJ said...

This sounds really icky, for you. I'm wondering where the parents are with this situation. Don't they have any input?
Very well played, I hope you feel better soon. I'm sure da bunz miss you (though they would never admit it).

Crafty Green Poet said...

Hope you feel better soon. I think hygeine is so important and so often overlooked, well done on your campaign.

M.Kate said...

Yikes..being sick is no fun for sure and I the spots must be missing you. This must be some serious virus to have so many people sick on a prolonged time. You have done all the right measures, so I hope you'll bounce back well and strong after this. I remembered when the kids were in pre-school, there's always a sick child or two or three at home, our medical bills shot through the roof. Have a speedy recovery, hugs/M

Rabbits' Guy said...

OK ... First, if you need a testimonial to your medicinal prowess to help convince the kids, I can send one!

Second, I was at an event last summer and this group had a black tent with one of those purple flourescent lights in it. Before we went in we rubbed this glo-in-that-light lotion all over our hands .. once in there, and seeing how our hands glowed, they sent us off to wash our hands real good and then come back. Oh my what a lot of spots of glo still there! Very graphic for the kids!

Do they use the "cough into your elbow" routine?

Glenna said...

Nice bunny action shot! Fleeing from germs, no doubt! Knock wood, I haven't had a cold in several years, which I attribute to not being around children ever (seems a bit extreme, doesn't it?) and doing lots of thorough handwashing (most people don't spend long enough soaping and rinsing) and luck. You know what blows me away though? Well, two things. One is the number of highly educated individuals--who should KNOW better--in my firm who use the bathroom, flush the toilet and then stroll away without washing their hands. Ugh! The other is when I was at the store a few weeks ago and a woman with a juicy cold coughed on me without covering her mouth, as I walked by with my cart. What adult does that? I wanted to hit her, I was so angry. So, good for you. My dad is a retired teacher and now subs (even though he's 82) and every year without fail he brings home all the worst colds and bugs--occupational hazard I guess.

furrybutts said...

I hope you're feeling better by now. We have the same issues at the office.. the germs just never seem to leave the building, instead they circulate all over via the central air conditioning system. So it's a domino effect once someone gets sick! If only people could be as wise & clean as rabbits!

PJ said...

I forgot to say what an awesome tocks shot that is.

FrecklesandDeb said...

Looks like Sydney is running (jumping?) away from the germs!

d. moll, l.ac. said...

PJ-Parents usually want kids in school and are told it is all for the best.
MK-Preschool seems to be a sort of nursing practicum for parents.
RG-No not even the elbow, until I talked to them, there was even coughing straight up into the air in the classroom.
G-Hygiene seems to be a lost art.
FB-Ick, infection through the AC, maybe you should all show up wearing surgical masks.

YowlYY said...

Well done to take the matter into your own hands - I noticed that people will cover their mouth less and less when they sneeze, cough and even yawn, which is appalling. I am not talking about young ones, those in my age and older are just as bad if not worse!! I haven't been ill with a cold for ages, but at the beginning of February I had to take the train to London twice in a week, and the second trip home was done to the background sound of a lady coughing like there's no tomorrow, and of course not using hands or tissues to cover it. Result: germs all over the carriage. I felt the cold symptoms just two days later, but I was lucky to be back to normal in 2 days time. My OH, on the other hand, wasn't so lucky - he got the germs from me at a time when I was still without symptoms, but he had to hit the bed and was off sick for a whole week.
It is a sad state of affair a society that encourages people to go sick to work - the higher number of ill people being less productive or forced to stay at home does surely not work in favour of the economy!
Ok, I'll get off the soapbox now.. ;-)
Love Sydney's hind parts jumping off to safer zones...

Fez and the Gang said...

Yeah nothing worse than having to put up with human germs... we are really glad that you are spreading the word!

tlc illustration said...

Bummer! (and bunny bums). I hope you are feeling better and have now transformed the world. :-)