So, the first confirmed H1N1 death in Shelby County occurred yesterday, and the victim was an eighth grader from my child's middle school. Calvin is only in sixth grade and they didn't know each other, but I'm sure the sadness of a death this close to home is disturbing to him. We've talked to him a little about it, and he seems to be handling it well. He's focusing on the precautions he's been told to take, like frequent hand washing. For an anxiety-prone kid, he's doing great.
I, on the other hand, am pretty pissed off. I feel so heartbroken for this family and can't imagine what they must be experiencing right now. But also? I want and expect the issue to be addressed when a student from my child's school dies of an infectious and easily spread disease. Not a letter, not an email, not a pre-recorded phone call. Zilch. We've gotten the district's two preemptive form letters about the plan for staying healthy and preventing an epidemic, but nothing today about this specific case. I'm probably the least paranoid person I know, but come on! I don't think official acknowledgment of a child's death and parental concerns is too much to ask. Should I send irate emails, sit tight, what? What would you do?
I guess they were too busy warning parents that the President of the United States was working up the audacity to address the nation's school children about the value of education and hard work. Clearly, priorities are all in order here.