Terrible SLAP YO MAMA influenza strain


Stef is really sick today. This may be the worst day yet. It’s hard to wait out the flu, but there seems to be no alternative. Cough meds make her puke. Theraflu almost made her jump out the window. Hacking and snorting sounds compete with the sounds of Saturday morning TV. Each room is a flurry of tissues, a littered battlefield of teacups, medicine jars, vitamin bottles, ripped open packets of flu symptom deterrent, and half-eaten pieces of toast. The miasma of illness hangs in the air like a wet diaper, heavy and boggy.

I am not sick and, yet, I feel droopy because of it. I have washed and rewashed my hands until they are red and raw little nubs; I don’t want to catch this flu, but there seems nothing else to do except, perhaps, swirl myself into a giant wad of Saran Wrap and hope for the best.

We both got a flu shot this year, just like every year, but, apparently, the CDC dropped the ball about which of the influenza bugs would be the most virulent. This one, the SLAP YO MAMA influenza strain, made it in under the radar and, so here we are, muddling through it. There is no escape from this, it seems. I could drive away in the car, but where would I go? And, what if she needed my help in the meantime? Patience and compassion, in greater depths than I usually have at any one moment, are called for at this time. I hope we don’t get QUARANTINED. I might go insane. JS


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