Thursday, January 04, 2007


At 5:17 this morning I got a broadcast call from the Warwick Superintendent of Schools announcing that school will be closed for the rest of the week while the CDC and Department of Health investigate an encephalitis outbreak at a neighboring school.

One kid is dead. A 7 year old first grader was hospitalized in mid December and died on the 21st. Another couple of kids have the bacteria, but are in much better shape, recovering at home at this point. No one seems to know why this normally relatively harmless bacteria has gone berserk, so there are folks in hazmat suits taking samples from the affected elementary school and sending the results to Atlanta for analysis. It is like something out of a House episode. Except no Hugh Laurie. And even if there was a Hugh Laurie around, I doubt he would be much comfort to the parents of that 7 year old.

I was actually in complete denial about all this until the call this morning. Yes, I told my kids to be extra careful about washing their hands and covering their mouths when they cough. Yes I thought about what it must have been like during the polio outbreak, when kids weren't allowed to swim for a summer and parents must have been suspicious of all the other kids in the neighborhood. My dad's cousin has a lame leg to this day. But really, I was just going through the motions.

And I wasn't alone, evidently. No one was discussing this at school pick-up time this week. We talked about the weather, the holidays, our diets and travels. But not one parent could bear to mention the fact that a kid the same age as ours died not two miles away from where we stood. It is too close.

Psa 18:1

I love you, O Lord, my strength.

Psa 18:2

The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;

my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.

He is my shield and the horn* of my salvation, my stronghold.

Psa 18:3

I call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise,

and I am saved from my enemies.


Mary Beth said...

Tried to comment the other day but couldn't. So scary. Praying for you and all.

We saw the announcement about the meningitis on the news and I said, "One of my blog friends lives there!"

My DH said, "Where do you NOT have a blog friend!?"


Rachel's Big Dunk said...

Thanks, Mary Beth...

We seem to be out of the woods. No new cases for the last couple of weeks.

And note to your DH: Isn't the blogosphere amazing?