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Church and Flu


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Anyone avoiding church due to fear of flu?My church is big and crowded...several hundred people per service (3,000 families total belong to the parish) and it is traditional pews so you often end up pretty packed in, very close to others. Having to stand is pretty common, actually, if it is too full. I'm going to be honest, I'm terrified of the flu this year, particularly for my youngest who is under 1 yr old. It's BAD in this area. Pediatrician isn't doing well visits right now, I was told to wait until things die down. Several hospitals are totally full with no empty beds at all. 

 

Is it terribly awful that I think I just want to keep my family home today? Maybe, if the kids aren't too tired/cranky by then, we could go to the evening service...it's not as crowded so not right up on top of people....BUT...that means 4 services of people will have already been in there possibly sneezing on things during the day, contaminating the pews. My kids WILL touch things, stick their fingers in their noses and mouths, etc. The 5 yr old is known to lick things for no darned reason. And then there is the baby!

 

5 yr old was tired this morning, cranky, and slept in. I'm run down. I'm just thinking, no. The weather is returning to normal and the prevailing wisdom amongst us Fl natives is that the flu will settle down when weather stay normal for a bit. I don't know. 

 

But am I wrong to be scared?

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Cleanliness is next to Godliness....so I'm going to count staying home and cleaning as the 2nd best idea. And I'll do some religious studies with the kids I think. 

 

We had DD's first Confesion yesterday, so we did go in then, but that was very much a smaller even, with each family getting their own pew. If we went today it would be packed. 

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And all the hugs and shaking hands...and little kids rubbing their hands everywhere... :crying:  

 

No, nothing wrong with being scared, and at this rate, I'm leaning toward the side of being OVER cautious.

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We went this morning, because I know when the baby comes in a couple weeks, I will be missing a lot. We were walking down the stairs and DD7 was using the hand rail. It kind of freaked me out, because germs. I wouldn’t normally be like this, but there does seem to be a lot of otherwise healthy people dying this year. :(

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I wouldn’t take a baby. I would avoid the 5-year-old getting sick with a baby at home.

 

I think it’s so hard to keep a baby hydrated when they just don’t feel good, apart from thinking about the flu.

 

It missed us by age, but I lived somewhere that RSV one year put a lot of babies in the hospital with dehydration. I think it is just not worth doing anything when there is a baby involved. They are just too small.

 

For me personally I would feel differently if your 5-year-old was the youngest child, I would not be as concerned. But I’m not sure, we don’t have flu in our area at this point, so I’m not worried about it.

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I would stay home - I think going to church with small kids when there is so much flu around and you feel worried about it would be kind of hubris. While in college I once went to church in spite of iced over streets and fell and hit my head hard - I promised myself then not to do something so silly again. Watch a service on TV/internet/radio etc. if you feel guilty.

 

Also, just wanted to say that I envy you the packed church (outside of flu season). We have a large church with a loud organ but othern than on special holidays there are many completely empty pews and most just have a couple of people at most. Quite depressing actually.

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In my diocese we got new flu procedures today:

 

Please stay home if you have any symptoms.

Just a smile and a nod for the sign of peace -- this is new.

A reminder that you taking just the bread counts as communion.

 

I'd say that if in doubt, leave young children home.

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In my diocese we got new flu procedures today:

 

Please stay home if you have any symptoms.

Just a smile and a nod for the sign of peace -- this is new.

A reminder that you taking just the bread counts as communion.

 

I'd say that if in doubt, leave young children home.

 

We were told during "greeting time" to wave and give a nod today. Guy behind me elbow-bumped me which was weird, but better than shaking hands.

 

M middle dd worked in the 2 year old room this morning - I'm scared she caught flu germs today. 

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And then there are people like us. We went because I have teenagers, and nobody seemed outside of normal. Younger ds has had a little cough, but nothing constant or abnormal. When we met for worship after Sunday School, he scrooched down on the pew and said his eyes hurt. Then he said his legs hurt. He had a busy day outside yesterday, so I thought maybe he was just tired, but told him if he kept feeling worse, to tell me and we would leave. We left about time for the sermon. On the way home, I stopped to pick up some elderberry syrup, but the pharmacy said they couldn't get any in, and probably the other pharmacies were out as well. We got home, he took his temp (101.8), fixed himself something hot to drink because he was cold (it's not cold), and went to bed.  :crying:  :sad:  I'm really hoping it's not flu, but am afraid it might be. I hope we didn't share it.  :crying:  There were no warning signs ahead of time other than the little cough, which wasn't normally the type you would worry about at all--other than to hand him a cough drop or a cup of water. 

 

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I'm not Catholic, but I go to a church where more than a few people feel the need to honor the Lord's Day by being at church no matter what. So there are always sick people there, including sick kids which parents bring for some reason. I would stay home in your situation.  

 

But, I wouldn't spend the day doing chores. :-)   Remember the Sabbath is supposed to be a day of rest.  Read to your kiddos, watch/listen to a mass online, snuggle up and watch a movie together.   Try not to jump into your everyday chores unless you have a laundry emergency or something.  :-)

 

Not to be lecture-y, but...  :-)  

 

ETA: I just saw Jaybee's post ahead of mine.  What I said about people bringing sick kids, I wasn't talking about people like her, who brought an apparently healthy kid and took a sick one home. 

Edited by marbel
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I think it is perfectly okay to stay home during flu season.  We have a little boy at church with Down Syndrome and they're keeping him out of classes with other kids until the spring.  You've gotta do what you gotta do to protect health.

 

We requested that the boys who pass the sacrament around use hand sanitizer.  I work in the nursery (18mo to 3yo) and before anyone came in today I had them use hand sanitizer and then we used it again before they ate their snack and then again before they left.  Another ward in our building has had several nursery kids get the flu so we're not taking chances.

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Thank you all for making me feel better about this! We're also battling allergies here (the recent cold front blew in pollen, like it always does) so allergy shiners, itchy eyes, etc. Makes me feel our immunity is down already, you know? 

 

We are having a laid back day. I'm picking up a bit but nothing crazy, and I spent over an hour just snuggling a sleeping baby while watching the Any Griffith show :)

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After the hand shaking today I had one of my sons go out and find one of those little bottles of hand sanitizer and we all used it (but my two sons are 12 year olds).  I am keeping it in my purse from now on.  I am always in wait and see mode for the 2 to 3 days after we go to church to see if we are going to catch anything.  So far we have avoided the flu thankfully, and dh is an urgent care doctor so he is exposed to it a lot.

Edited by Lea in OK
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We skipped last week and this week for that reason and youth group both weeks too. Going to stuff we need to buy avoiding anything we don’t. One immune compromised and one prone to terrible asthma when sick means we’re being extra careful.

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Our numbers at church were down today and the prayers for the sick list was long. I wanted to stay home, too, because we're still dragging from a bad cold earlier this month and don't need the flu on top of that. But we had a meeting to attend which I said I would provide lunch for, so there we were.

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Our reverend has been having us do a "smile and nod" to pass the peace instead of handshakes. Also, our pews have little baskets with hand sanitizer and kleenex in them, which is handy. Our church is quite small in numbers though, so our little family usually has a whole pew to ourselves. If it were a crowded church, I'd have no problem skipping. DH and DS stayed home today because they're both sneezing and getting colds and we have a LOT of elderly people in the church who we do not want to get ill!

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I went to church today, but I have to admit I washed my hands a lot!

 

I have to attend (as do my kids) due to a commitment I make to their school.  I can miss but I am supposed to be at like 50% attendance, and I've missed a lot already, so I am trying to go when I can ....

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