Thursday, October 1, 2009

Lost in the Garden of Eden

When my first daughter got her first sickness, my husband and I had freaked out a little, on account of all the firsts. My first thoughts were; could this be something else, something awful? How would we know? My husband's first thought was more of a loud, angry edged question-"Where did she get this?" And it wasn't rhetorical. He seriously made me walk him him through the details of our week and give descriptions of the pallor and constitution of every baby friend we had come across. I found this both odd and futile.

I shared the story with my aunt who laughed out loud and said, "did you tell him it started in the Garden of Eden with the fall of man?" I feel my thoughts wandering towards a creation discussion or a feminist one but I will do my best to stay on task. Thoughts on a literal interpretation of the bible or the fairness of Eve shouldering the blame for everything for all eternity aside; the woman had a point. It is and has always been. "It" being germs, colds, flu, H1N1, etc, etc. Just as soon as you give up your trip to Mexico to avoid Eve, you end up in the library with her 2nd cousin's best friend's nanny and whala-welcome to the Garden of Eden.

So what is a mom to do? Especially when said mom is equal parts paranoid and distrustful of a sometimes over zealous medical community and the next pandemic. I really don't know the answer. Balance has never been my strong suit and I don't know how to strike it between being the fearful crazed y2k Costco shopper and the throw caution to the wind "we can just take echinacea if we get anything" type. But here is what I do know. We need some consensus. Some rules people! We can't all be flying fast and loose with our mucous.

Are you thinking what I am thinking? Kant! Of course! When in doubt let us be lead by the wisdom of the beloved 18th century German philosopher. The Categorical Imperative was covered long ago and far away my freshman year in Philosophy 101. (big shout out to Dr. Sandstrom, who knew a white beard could be so dreamy??) I can no longer remember or understand much at all (seriously, not just philosophy, I wandered around Target trying to figure out my list for like 30 minutes the other day), but the main, and hugely overly- simplified premise, is perfect for this conundrum. What would the world be like if EVERYONE made the decision you are about to make?

A moral act is that which would be right for any person in similar circumstances to those of any other agents who find themselves executing the act unconditionally according to universal principles which respect persons intrinsically rather than those that pursue each person's own ends...(

Oh wiki, how I love thee.

I have heard MANY moms bemoan the gall of others to expose their little ones and in the very same breath try and justify why they are out right now and why it is probably okay. We must ask ourselves, before we are en route to the various outings that comprise our days, "If everyone experiencing (insert symptom here) was to go out into the wide world right now would it trigger a pandemic?" If so-stay home. Stay home and brush up on your apocalyptic movies that will scare some sense into you. I recommend "Quarantine" and "28 Days Later" but there are many good and useful ones out there.

Already, I find myself betraying my own manifesto. Rules, universal application of the categorical imperative? And my directive to watch apocalyptic films sounded pretty bossy. It occurs to me that the best I can do is develop a personal imperative and do my very best to stick with it. And hope that by putting enough snot credits out there our general karma will improve.

I pledge to keep my kids away from yours if they:

1. Have a fever or have had a fever in the last 24 hours. Even I am pretty sure it was due to teething.
2. A chest cough
3. A hacking cough
4. A productive cough
5. Their snot is any type of color other than clear OR is especially prolific
6. If they have vomited in the last 24 hours. Even if I am pretty sure it was just a bad milk episode.

This pledge seems to be in keeping with my trial run at being the change I wish to see. Unless your kid is always getting mine sick, then it is germ warfare. I kid! Anyway-if you want a real peek into the mind of a lunatic, keep reading! Below you will find my "research" (read-link to sites that are in no way evaluated, approved, proven, wishing to be affiliated with my blog, etc, etc).

So I am a big fan of the classic standby; hand washing. However, as the proud mother of kids who can not keep their hands away from from their faces on the trip between the sink and bathroom door, sometimes I must sanitize. I am uncomfortable with alcohol and tricolosan so I have switched to products with the main ingredient of Benzalkonium Chloride. This is an organic and safe compound and the main ingredient in neosporin and bactine. The hand sani version I like is:

Elderberry concentrate is such a powerful anti-viral that it was used to treat the flu in 1918 epidemic. My husband was quick to point out that many, many perished in this outbreak. But what the hay; it is juice, it sure can't hurt, and my kids like it in their yogurt.

I read that lubing up your nostrils before air travel reduces your chances that germs will find a roosting place in your dried out husk of a schnauz. So sometimes when going somewhere very crowded indoors I lube up our noses. By the by I do this with neosporin, you know, on account of the anti-bac properties and my solid and extensive medical background. Probably ridiculous but unlikely to be harmful.

I have my biggest kid and myself to gargle with salt water at the very first tickle in the throat. Apparently many a virus first attach in your throat and begin their revolting reproduction process right there. The salt water bath stops this shenanigans.

This reminds me of #7 in my pledge to do right by others-I pledge to call you if my kids get sick within a day or two of interfacing with yours. This will allow you to commence your own crazy rituals. Godspeed to us all this cold and flu season!

1 comment:

  1. So my friend shared the following link with me after reading this post. I think you will find it an interesting and sane alternative to living a fearful and ocd existence:


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