Tuesday, September 22, 2009

But At Least It Would Be a Graceful Death

photo credit-mcveja
creative commons license

Sweet Pea tends to worry about the future. She'll come up with all sorts of things to worry about. Usually these are easily countered, and she is (temporarily) reassured. It's gotten that many of the same things come up over and over again, so I've developed almost automatic responses:

"What if I don't like the job I get when I grow up?"
"Then you'll get another. I had a lot of different jobs before the one I have now".

"What if a bad person breaks in our house and kidnaps me?"
"The doors and windows are all locked. And the police drive around all the time looking for bad people".

"What if you die?"
"I'm not planning on dieing for a long time".

"What if there's a tornado and it knocks the house down?"
"This house has been here for over 100 years, and nothing has knocked it down yet. Mommy and I and this house will protect you".

But the other night she threw me off for a second. She came up with:

"But what if I get sick?"
"What do you mean, Sweet Pea?"

"What if I get sick and die from the Swan Flu?"

One part of me cringed a little inside. I shared this irrational fear, that this flu season would be one for the record books. That there would not be enough vaccine in time. One of her classmates already had a case. A grandchild of a co-worker is currently ill with it. One of our doctors got it last fall from a patient. What if I caught if from a patient and infected one or both of our kids? Of course I know that even if they get it, that they probably won't die. They'll probably be enough anti-viral medicines around to treat them. Probably.

Of course another part of me wanted to laugh out loud at the "swan" thing. Buddy Boy immediately chimed in,

"It's the SWINE flu. SWINE flu! You know, pigs!"

I then hugged her, and told her we'd just have to get her some medicine for that, if she got sick.

We actively try not to have the news on the TV, as there's seldom anything good on, and you'd think that every other child in the county had been kidnapped for all the coverage kidnappings get. But somehow the world creeps in, no matter what we do. And the media magnify our little fears, irrational though they be.


Chaoticidealism said...

...the fear of death isn't irrational.

Corrie Howe said...

It is a shame that the media world can be so depressing. And it is a shame even schools, wanting to educate, can also worry our children. I know my oldest son came home from Fire Prevention Week and Immunization education inconsolable and worried about the house burning down and getting chicken pox.

I was plagued by the fear of death for years. I think gaining a faith and hope in what happens after helped me and my children. They don't fear it like I did.

It does take a lot of worry out of our lives if we believe that someone else is in control and looking out for our good.

Club 166 said...

While the fear of death might not be irrational, thinking that death is likely to occur from the swine flu for any particular Westerner probably is.

Yes, there have been some deaths from the flu. And yes, there will be more.

But we live in a society that is as prepared as it can be at the present time, and to spend time and energy worrying about possibilities that probably won't impact us seems a bit counterproductive. I'd like to encourage my daughter to enjoy today, now, and leave the worrying to her parents.

Clay said...

I hope that the fears about swine flu are overblown, that it will somehow fizzle out, as other such fears have. But I think I've already had it, (only lasted a week), but the same day I got over it, a local Cornell student who was only 20 died of it.

Yesterday, there was a local news promo about health care workers "up in arms", protesting having to take the H1N1 vaccine. I think the station was just currying favor with some well-heeled anti-vax group, trying to do some scare-mongering. It's like those paid "town hall protesters", pretending to be part of a grassroots movement against Health Care reform.

Nasty blighters, all of them, and it's their fault if swine flu succeeds, or if health insurance reform doesn't.

Niksmom said...

Oh.my. I know this post is, ostensibly, about the worries and H1N1 fears, but I can't help but giggle over the "swan flu!" I wonder if it would turn all the ugly (mean-spirited) people into swans? lol. That's a virus I oculd get behind.