All the parents in Mexico were rejoicing on Sunday night, anxiously awaiting their children's return to school on Monday morning. Two weeks of forced Swine Flu "vacation" had people scrambling to find child care or losing precious work hours to stay home and take care of the kids. Kids who had just had two weeks off for Semana Santa (Easter Break), kids who desperately need the structure and discipline that school provides. I was one of those mommies, ever so gleeful that my hyper son would be back to his routine and out of my make-up bag (that's a whole other story).
Cut to Monday morning, Canucka back in her classroom and rolling on a grammar lesson. The cel phone rings, I ignore it (bad manners to answer in class). Phone beeps with a message. Phone rings again, better answer it as it must be an emergency. Hubby is on the phone telling me that the school is sending Max home because he's sick. Sick? No way guey, he was fine this morning, what could have happened? Apparently the school had brought in a doctor to check all the kids out on their return from "flucation". This doctor said that Max had a fever, a red throat and a cough and would not be allowed to stay in school. Hmmm, we'll see about that. Hubby had to run to the school to pick up Max, bring him by my place of work and run back to his office. I was half way through my class when Monster,er, Max arrived and my boss tried her best to keep him occupied and out of my hair, alas, he is not a kid that sits still on command and he caused a bit of a disruption. I had to get another teacher to come in and cover for me (more lost $) and get Max to his pediatrician in order to find out what was up and to get a letter of health to allow him to return to school.
Our pediatrician checked him out and said he was A OK, no fever, no cough, no nothing. How could the doctor at the school be so wrong? Was he just being protective or was he paranoid? Did he use the old "hand on the forehead" fever test instead of a digital thermometer? So 550 pesos later plus my lost time, we have a letter saying that Max is in good health and could return to school. A lovely waste of time and money.
Max was not the only kid sent home. I watched a news report on TV last night that many parents were in the same predicament, almost all of them with healthy children. One kindergarten in Cancun sent home ALL the students that did not have surgical masks, an infuriating act as there is NO rule or regulation stating that masks are necessary (or even useful). That left them with about three kids in attendance as no one here is using masks and no one had been told that the school was making them a requirement. The parents were understandably furious, after so long away from school (and likely work), having the kids sent home again was extremely disruptive for everyone involved. More bored kids, more lost wages and money uselessly spent on doctor's notes that were unnecessary.
The total number of reported cases of flu in Quintana Roo is still at 11 (last I heard anyway). Is this kind of over the top "precaution" necessary? Where were all the precautions a couple of weeks ago when more than 5000 children in Cancun were infected with chicken pox? Why did I read about the chicken pox epidemic in the newspaper and not from the ministry of education or the school? While I am glad that the schools are making an effort to sniff out the sick children, I'm not happy abou the number of healthy children that have been sent home in the "panic". It's time for things to really get back to normal, where reading, writing and 'rithmetic are the words of the day instead of infection, sanitization and pandemic.
Ok, off my ranty soap box and on to Max's homework.....thanks for reading along!
(this is old news now folks, here's the link for the latest updates on H1N1 in Cancun)
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