Pandemic Motherhood Diary, Entry 7: When the Flu is Good News
By Melissa Menny
On Easter Sunday, my husband and I noticed our toddler’s usual joyful nature turned lethargic. Something was off about our child’s behavior. After checking his temperature, and rushing him to the nearest open urgent care, we learned he tested positive for the flu. “Good news,” my husband said over the phone because we feared for the worst: COVID.
This is where we are now with every passing day, with every cough, sneeze, or fever. We always hope it isn’t COVID-19.
The flu is awful. Our child being ill in any way is not a good thing, but him having one illness as opposed to the other is welcomed. What an unfortunate mental compromise that we have found comfort in.
Of course, we have no way of pinpointing where he got the flu from. The doctor made that clear. It could have been the groceries we bring into our home or the handful of people that have been around him. We don’t know, but I do know that this reinforces my original concerns. This reminds me of the dangers of letting my guard down. This reminds me of why I have kept them as socially distant as possible. More than anything it reinforces just how powerless I am when it comes to keeping my kids safe from illnesses. Children getting sick is not new, but sickness ignites a different fear since the existence of the deadly virus.
Also, our five-month-old is recovering from surgery. While he is recovering, I worry now about him catching the flu as well. Trying to create some distance between the two is almost impossible. Not to mention the fear of my husband or myself getting sick and what that means for our little crew. We have two kids with rotating oral syringes and yoyo moods. We cannot afford for either of our ships to be down.
Our toddler has been mostly his bouncy self, all things considered. He has some days, meds, and rest to go before he is completely one hundred percent well. His diagnosis is not ideal, but at least we know what to expect. At least it’s not COVID.
This is the seventh entry in our series on the experience of raising two “pandemic kids.” Read entry 6 here.
Melissa Menny is an author with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism. She is a poet and a writer in all aspects. When she is not working, she enjoys painting, music, and spending time with her husband and two sons.