Swine Flu, DVDs and the Plague

Maddy has been home the last couple of days with a sore throat. Doesn’t sound serious. Probably isn’t. And certainly not in any way connected to the fact that in the last day or so, the first cases of “swine flu” have been reported in Victoria, occuring among children in school.

In line with the current themes, I am listening to an audio book recording of “This time of dying”, by Reina James, about a funeral director trying to cope with the outbreak of the Spanish Flu in England in October 1918. Quite sobering stuff.

This morning, after dropping sprog no. 2 off at school, I came home to find sprog no. 1 on the couch watching a TV program designed for 4 year olds. “There’s nothing else to do”, was the excuse.

Which brings to mind a comment made by a parent of the Victorian family who have been quarantined at home because their children have the Swine Flu:

The quarantine would give her the chance to do some cleaning, but it was difficult to keep her children entertained. “How did they do the black plague without DVD’s?” (“Swine Flu Goes Local”, Print edition of The Age, Friday May 22)

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “Swine Flu, DVDs and the Plague

  1. Matthias

    “Life in a time of influenza” could be the title of a book if it were written now.
    I noticed that one of the Aged care services attached to our organisation – in line with federal health dept regulations- has put up notices asking visitors to not go in if they have clinical manifestations such as cough or sore throat.
    Read Barbara Tuchmann’s book THE DARK MIRROR to see how people lived in the calamitous 14th Century.mini ice age began,100 years war,and the black death-yersina pestis,to give it the germs name.
    It was a pleasure meeting you yesterday Schutz at the Byzantine Catholic Rite.

  2. Tom

    Basically they weren’t so soft. If you were so sick you couldn’t do any chores, then you were in bed sleeping. If you were sick enough not to go to work, yet not sick enough to be asleep, you were doing work around the house.

    Dishwashers, Washing Machines – these things make us bored! Maddy is 8, or 10? Time for her to learn to clean! My mum showed me how to use the washing machine when I was 10, and from then on refused to wash my clothes. I’ve worn a lot of dirty clothes since, but I’m not allowed to be bored, that’s for sure! 😀

    Seriously though, boredom is a pretty bad vice. Give her your copy of the Summa and say ‘time to start, you should be finished in about 10-15 years’.

    • Maddy is 10 – and actually (when they put their mind to it) the girls are very helpful around the house. They did some great work in the garden on Sunday. And since our dishwasher died about 10 months ago, we haven’t replaced it. Time for the girls to learn about doing dishes, we thought.

  3. I hope Maddy is better soon. I tend to agree with Tom. I have given out chores whenever my children have complained about being bored and they don’t seem to complain as much now.

  4. Pax

    A quiet activity that can pass the time is I spy particularly if you hide interesting things in the room beforehand to add a bit more interest. Another interesting time filler that is not too strenuous is any of those hidden picture books like Where’s Wally and finally audio books are great because even an avid bookworm might not feel up to reading when sick. One of my faourite yhings when I was sick as a child was a hot water bottle ,warmed lemonade and Vick’s vapour rub!

  5. In general, boredom is a heresy! If I get bored I assume it’s because I’m tired and need to sleep and therefore don’t really have the energy to do something constructive. However, sickness is a bit different.

    When the kids were younger I used to have a list of things they could do if they were bored. Praying and sleeping were at the top of that list! After that were activities which they enjoyed but might not think of for themselves. Once they make a decision to do some particular thing, they usually get involved in it.

    As for me, when I’m sick, I just want to watch DVDs! That is because I am a wuss.