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Is the goal FLATTEN THE CURVE or ELIMINATE COVID?


Ottakee
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so apparently the goal of the Australian government is to keep growth factor below 1. it is today at 0.89 

restrictions will ease if the growth stays below 1, but will tighten up again if it goes up again.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-04-30/does-herd-immunity-stop-coronavirus-and-what-happens-without-it/12200326

 

 

I wish they would just go for the eliminate 

 

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On 4/28/2020 at 1:31 PM, SKL said:

Although I don't agree with your logic, I also don't actually care if kids in school get a cold more than once.  That's how it goes.  Unless a person has immunity issues, it's just a normal part of life, always has beenIt's actually unhealthy to prevent normal healthy kids from being exposed to mild illnesses from time to time.

As for why we wash hands and cover sneezes?  Personally I cover sneezes because they are gross.  Nobody wants my snot on them, germs or no germs.  I have never been one for a lot of hand washing.  I wash after I use the bathroom and before I cook.  I am not afraid of germs at all.

Staying home when mildly ill is a luxury and not a necessity at all.  It's also pie in the sky for the vast majority of people around the world.  It sounds like privilege to me.

1. Lots of people DO have immunity issues, and they go to school, work, the movies, etc too. So by going out and about when you know you or your kids are contagious, you are exposing them, not just the "healthy" people. 

2. Even if people who know they are sick stay home, kids will still get exposed, just less. 

3. Staying home when ill is a luxury only because our society does not provide proper sick live policies. I have sympathy for those who are facing that issue, but that does not excuse all the other people, who CAN keep a sick kid home or stay home, from going to school, etc when they know they are contagious. 

On 4/28/2020 at 4:17 PM, katilac said:

My kids were homeschooled, so this was strictly a hypothetical for us, but: if you're talking about staying home for common colds and such, my kids would have had a rough time of it! Even if the district/school had decent makeup work policies, they would have almost certainly exceeded 18 unexcused days in a year, which means you can't pass. So, yeah, I can totally understand parents sending their kids to school with a cold. 

Um, maybe your kids would have had a way LESS colds if people kept their sick kids home. Sending kids to share desks, playgrounds, etc when knowingly contagious is creating a rough time for many, especially those who get so sick they can't just soldier on. 

On 4/28/2020 at 4:42 PM, bolt. said:

I'm feeling really conflicted on this topic.

I remember, very clearly, feeling like it's perfectly normal to have a cold or flu during "cold and flu season" -- that you just take a decongestant and carry on as usual. It's just not something I used to question: not for myself, not for my kids, not for other people I was sharing space and activities with. Vaguely, I'm pretty sure that I have cold symptoms 50% of the winter and spring. You get used to the sniffles as a norm. (Judging by how often I buy a bottle of decongestant-analgesic, those numbers make sense.) My threshold for calling in sick (myself) was very high -- because I'm only a part time adjunct, and it's not hard to pull off 1h15m of a class even when you feel really awful. For my kids, I used to think, "Would they get much out of school? Would they be able to cope?" -- using their symptoms while medicated as a guideline.

Now all of that seems like a complete disregard for germs and transmissiblity. It's focused entirely on my own experience (Can we cope? Am I capable? Will we still benefit?) and not at all on the public health impacts of my choices. I think my previous view saw the germs as present and inevitable, not something that I myself was participating in.

 

Again, there might be a lot less people with cold symptoms all winter if everyone wasn't going around knowingly spreading those germs. But in general, speaking for myself, if I was sick 50% of the time, I'd be seeking out a doctor to figure out why. That doesn't sound fun. 

I the only one that remembers being kept home when ill as a child? That schools did NOT want you there if sick  a note from your mom was all you needed to excuse an absence? 

Now, I'm not talking about policing others. I'm aware that allergies, cold weather, etc can cause a runny nose. I'm saying that people that KNOW they are currently contagious should, out of common courtesy, stay home if at all possible. And that we as a society should facilitate that. 

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1 hour ago, square_25 said:


If I kept my kids home every time they had a runny nose, they would literally be at their activities a third of the time, maybe less. If you have your child in any kind of group setting, they are CONSTANTLY getting minor bugs. 

I will absolutely keep them home with a fever or a stomach bug. But I just have no way to tell the difference between “sick enough to stay home” and “still sniffly from the bug from 3 weeks ago.”

It’s been amazing how healthy they’ve been during the lockdown, I gotta say...

Again, if everyone kept their kids home when knowingly sick, your kids wouldn't be sick 2/3rd of their life! I mean, doesnt' anyone think that being sick 2/3rd of the time is crazy?! The reason they are constantly getting minor bugs in group settings is that people keep sending their sick kids. 

Again, I get it, they may still have some symptoms after they are recovered. Fine. I know coughs can last weeks, etc. But if you and everyone kept them home when you KNOW they are contagious, that would cut the spread way down, right? We don't need to let perfect be the enemy of the good here. 

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3 hours ago, happysmileylady said:

Generally I *DO* keep sick kids home when they are sick....when possible.

 

I am curious, do you keep ALL your kids home if only one is a little bit sick, no fever?

It depends. From playing with the neighbors? Yes, I do. From an important class, no. But there is a big space between, "my kid is obviously ill and i had to give them cold medicine for them to function", and "their sibling seems under the weather but nothing serious,  and they are fine". 

I mean, I know I wouldn't want to share a desk with the one who is snotting and coughing and obviously has a cold. 

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Rabbit Trail Alert.

Well, as far as my kids were concerned, because we homeschooled, I didn't often have to make decisions about whether they had to go out or not when sick. I was thankful that they could just take it easy when they were under the weather though, rather than our having to make a decision over how bad was bad enough. The occasions here and there when they were in school, no, they didn't stay home due to a bad cold unless they ran fever or were obviously feeling bad. 

This conversation raises an honest question for me, though. When I was growing up (a LONG time ago), we never heard about immunocompromised people/diseases/situations, and we were pretty medically aware (my dad was a family doctor). I knew no or few people who were often sick, aside from some allergy symptoms. Even with my kids, that didn't come up (they are mostly adults now, who primarily grew up overseas). What has changed? I don't think it is just awareness, because I would have noticed if someone I knew was absent from school or church activities often, due to sickness. Sickness happened sometimes, of course, but I don't recall anyone who seemed to always be coming down with something, or for whom the ordinary colds, etc., became much more serious.

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I too wonder what has changed over the generations.  Not that I know a ton of kids who can't be around germs, but I do know more than when I was a kid.

FTR I always keep my kids away from compromised people that I know about, unless I am sure they are not contagious.  But when it comes to school, the origin of roughly 100% of our illnesses, I believe it's fair to assume that kids attending with my kids are safe regardless of my kids.

I don't [knowingly] send my kids to school with illnesses that require meds to cure or that make kids violently ill.  Fever, it depends on how hot, how sick the kid is overall, and how long it's been going around the class already.  (I also know my own kids and whether they're likely to feel better or worse once at school.)  That said, the majority of bugs are spread before the individual has shown significant symptoms, so by the time my kids have symptoms, mitigation at school is really not the point.

And FTR I rarely medicate my kids at all.  We've never been that sick from anything other than strep (once) or pukey stomach bugs.  The most I've done is give a Tylenol to get them through a morning with a mild temperature.

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re more discussion/ awareness about "immunocompromised" people than there used to be

30 minutes ago, Jaybee said:

Rabbit Trail Alert.

Well, as far as my kids were concerned, because we homeschooled, I didn't often have to make decisions about whether they had to go out or not when sick. I was thankful that they could just take it easy when they were under the weather though, rather than our having to make a decision over how bad was bad enough. The occasions here and there when they were in school, no, they didn't stay home due to a bad cold unless they ran fever or were obviously feeling bad. 

This conversation raises an honest question for me, though. When I was growing up (a LONG time ago), we never heard about immunocompromised people/diseases/situations, and we were pretty medically aware (my dad was a family doctor). I knew no or few people who were often sick, aside from some allergy symptoms. Even with my kids, that didn't come up (they are mostly adults now, who primarily grew up overseas). What has changed? I don't think it is just awareness, because I would have noticed if someone I knew was absent from school or church activities often, due to sickness. Sickness happened sometimes, of course, but I don't recall anyone who seemed to always be coming down with something, or for whom the ordinary colds, etc., became much more serious.

I think you're right.

I expect there are multiple factors, including more medication-induced conditions as pp noted.

But another shift I am acutely conscious of myself, is that when my parents were young, and even when I was young myself, is that talking about cancer is no longer taboo.  The word is spoken aloud, people whose loved ones are going through treatment *speak aloud* about treatment, people who are themselves enduring it now or have survived earlier treatment *talk about it.*  Talk about the experience itself, talk about their regimens to limit exposure, talk about their heightened concern about bringing "minor" infections home and thereby threatening the lives of loved ones recuperating at home.

It's really, really hard to describe now because it's so very different, but it did not used to be like this.  When I was a child, cancer was whispered about, maybe.  Sometimes, "the C word."  More often, "she's not well."  Obituaries used euphemisms like "she died after a long illness."  The word itself was taboo -- let alone the unpleasant details of rounds of chemo and radiation, let ALONE the dangers of bringing infection to an immunocompromised patient.

Thankfully that has changed, and along with it much more discussion, both during and after, of the aspect of trying to support a loved one going through it that relates to the hyper-focus on not bringing infection in.

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I never sent my kids to school if they had a fever or if nasal discharge was green.  One child had allergies and would have gone nowhere all spring or fall if sneezing, cough, or runny nose was the criteria.  One child had serious GI issues and might vomit at any time but not be ill.  The school rule was that a child could not be at school at least for 24 hours after that--So, often the child would miss two days of school when not contagious or really feeling bad.  

My children were very close and physically affectionate with each other.  However, I cannot remember a single time they both became sick with the same thing.  One child had many bouts of strep; I can only remember the other child having strep once--and it was not at a time when the first had strep and the first did not get strep.  They never got the flu in the same year; one would get a stomach bug, but the other would not.  

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24 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

Well, I think a very large part is awareness.  I think is both in part because of advancements in medical knowledge, and in part because society in general continues to strive to be aware of others needs.  

Also though, I think medications are a large part as well.  My MIL was immunocompromised, not because of a medical condition itself, but because of a medication she was on.  Lots of medications today suppress the immune system.   I also believe, based on MIL's experience, that not all medical professionals do a good enough job explaining the ramifications of such medicines and what alternatives might be.   

 

I'm pretty sure it isn't just awareness. We were a pretty aware family (FOO). I'm sure my dad knew people who were more susceptible to illness that I did, but overall, the compromised immune system seems to have become much more prevalent. 

As per @Pam in CT, that's interesting about the cancer thing. Maybe it's regional, but my community was pretty open about cancer diagnoses. Even when my mom was growing up--she had several siblings who had childhood or young adult cancer--they were open about it. They sometimes didn't know it was cancer, but when they did, it seems there weren't attempts to hide that. And no HIPPA, so word got around.

8 minutes ago, Danae said:

 

Before The Boy in the Plastic Bubble?

Yep.

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7 minutes ago, Bootsie said:

...

My children were very close and physically affectionate with each other.  However, I cannot remember a single time they both became sick with the same thing.  One child had many bouts of strep; I can only remember the other child having strep once--and it was not at a time when the first had strep and the first did not get strep.  They never got the flu in the same year; one would get a stomach bug, but the other would not.  

In recent years, this has been the case for my kids also.  It is odd, but they are not biologically related, so maybe that's why.  Then again, my sister used to get strep every year and I never got it - though we slept in the same bed.  Interesting!

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4 hours ago, happysmileylady said:

Yes there's a difference between those things.

Here's the sort of situation I am thinking of, that is the type that we most commonly run into, as an example.

DD11 has a ball game.  DH is at work, I have to stay at the game.  DS7 is sneezing, coughing and and clearly doesn't feel great, though no fever.  DD11 is feeling just fine, clearly NOT sick, and it would not be right to keep her home, when it's her *brother* who is sick.  But, with no one to watch him and a parent required at the game.....guess who has to come with, sick.  

 

Kid is sneezing, coughing, doesn't feel well? I can't leave them with someone? Then we all stay home. Has happened many times. If it was some giant championship and the team was going to kick the other kid off for not showing, i guess I'd take them and have them sit in the car or on a blanket away from everyone, but seriously, we'd stay home. My kids are used to that kind of thing. Sorry, can't take you to dance/scouts/whatever because your sibling is sick and needs to stay home. 

3 hours ago, Jaybee said:

Rabbit Trail Alert.

Well, as far as my kids were concerned, because we homeschooled, I didn't often have to make decisions about whether they had to go out or not when sick. I was thankful that they could just take it easy when they were under the weather though, rather than our having to make a decision over how bad was bad enough. The occasions here and there when they were in school, no, they didn't stay home due to a bad cold unless they ran fever or were obviously feeling bad. 

This conversation raises an honest question for me, though. When I was growing up (a LONG time ago), we never heard about immunocompromised people/diseases/situations, and we were pretty medically aware (my dad was a family doctor). I knew no or few people who were often sick, aside from some allergy symptoms. Even with my kids, that didn't come up (they are mostly adults now, who primarily grew up overseas). What has changed? I don't think it is just awareness, because I would have noticed if someone I knew was absent from school or church activities often, due to sickness. Sickness happened sometimes, of course, but I don't recall anyone who seemed to always be coming down with something, or for whom the ordinary colds, etc., became much more serious.

What changed is when there was more likely to be a parent or grandparent or family friend to watch the sick kid, the sick ones stayed home so they were not spreading germs around the classroom all the time. And schools didn't freak out about absences and require a doctor's note, so the sick kids stayed home until well. 

I remember there was ONE kid in my elementary school who had a chronically runny nose. He was always snotty, and I would imagine there were sinus issues or allergies, but it was noticeable because it was ONE kid. It was spoken about. No one was used to seeing a kid who was all snotty at school. 

41 minutes ago, square_25 said:

 

DD4 goes to preschool. Our life is very much built around DD4 going to preschool -- like, I teach classes during that time, and I could NOT bring her along for those. 

DD4 has also been sniffly basically the whole winter :-/. That was the case for DD7, too, when she was that age, because kids that age are gross and share all and any germs without reservation. And that's been the report of about everyone who's sent their kids to preschool. 

So either I have to give up on my 4-year old's preschool (which I like and which saves me from having to find her other social outlets) or I have to send her when she's sniffly. We've had people send their kids with the flu or with pink eye, and I really can't stand that. But with a standard rhinovirus? I just don't see how to plan anything at all if I was going to keep her home every time she had any symptoms of one. Because it really would be either half the time or more. 

Or the school could stop everyone else from sending their sick kids, and then your kid wouldn't keep getting sick, and would be able to attend most of the time, AND be well. 

And all y'all saying your kids are obviously sick 50-70% of the time...if my kid was sick that often and that much I'd be at the doctor's office wanting an explanation. That just shouldn't be the norm, for kids to be chronically ill most of the time. Either allergies are an issue, or sinus infection, or compromised immune system, or the school is just that gross? 

 

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2 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

You have 3 kids under the age of 10, plus a spouse and an adult child (who is still at home right?)  Are you really saying that for a large portion of of the winter,  *NO ONE* in your house has sneezes, coughs, or other snifflies?

And if that's really what you are saying, I will follow up with....have you lived in Florida most of your life?

I'm not saying no one ever gets sick. I'm saying no one in my family is sick a majority of the time. I have a friend who has a kid who was always sick, I advised seeing the doctor about it, not writing it off, as some did, as "well, kids are supposed to always be sick". Turns out he has specific antibody deficiency, and there was a reason he was always sick. In my experience, no, none of my kids or friends kids (even in public school) are mostly sick. My sister does have one that was sick more often, but that was the year strep went through the school over and over and over again. They couldn't get rid of it. People kept sending sick kids, and they would reinfect the ones that had gotten better, etc. The other coughs a lot, but has allergies and asthma. I don't expect her to stay home, but she has a reason. 

And yes, in various parts of the state, from coastal to inland and from South Florida to Tallahassee (actually outside Tallahassee, heading for the GA border...my dog at the time we picked up on GA). 

I will say, we realized that we were getting sick everytime we went to the science center - that was not fun. Problem is there is a preschool in the science center, and they go to all the exhibits each day, snotting on them, and as others said, they often send their kids knowingly ill to preschool because they need to go to work and can't stay home with a sick kid. So now if we go we constantly hand sanitize, wash hands, etc. That seems to have worked for the most part. I just wasn't being so super vigilant because most of the time it isn't such an issue.

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2 minutes ago, square_25 said:

 

Well, they aren't that ill? It's more like, a lingering cough or a runny nose with clear discharge. But it's hard to tell if they are contagious. Basically, it's like they get a new cold every month or so in the winter, and the aftereffects linger. 

I had a cough for a month after having the flu in November. I could not have locked myself in the house for all of that time. I just couldn't have. If I lived like that, I couldn't even have the part-time work I currently have. 

I think I specifically said in one of my posts that I know a cough can linger even after you are better/not contagious, and I wasn't talking about that. You damage the cilia and that takes a while to clear up, etc. I'm talking about kid just started being snotty/coughing, or is still in the run down, wiping their nose every few minutes, sneezing phase. But I will say that my kids don't stay sick more than a week with a general run of the mill cold. If they are still snotty after a week they generally are getting a sinus infection, and I usually take them into the doctor's office. But, when they get sick, yeah, they stop all activities, drink a ton of fluids, sit on the couch and watch movies, take hot steamy showers, I run the vaporizer, etc to try to prevent that. Again, if my kid regularly had colds that kept them feeling icky and snotty for weeks and weeks, I'd be at the doctor's office, personally. I don't think that is a healthy, normal state of being. Or much fun. 

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1 minute ago, square_25 said:

 

Did you ever send your kids to preschool? My 7 year old isn't like this. Just my 4 year old.  

No, just kindergarten. They did other stuff, like a preschool co-op (sick kids stayed home), weekly story time at the library, dance class from 3-5 yrs old, and tagged along to older kid activities. We try to avoid places where sick people are, lol. 

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2 minutes ago, square_25 said:

 

Well, they aren't that ill? It's more like, a lingering cough or a runny nose with clear discharge. But it's hard to tell if they are contagious. Basically, it's like they get a new cold every month or so in the winter, and the aftereffects linger. 

I had a cough for a month after having the flu in November. I could not have locked myself in the house for all of that time. I just couldn't have. If I lived like that, I couldn't even have the part-time work I currently have. 

We got norovirus in November. Then we had colds in December but were better by Christmas. In early/mid-Feb two got a fever and the rest of us got sniffles. Right as we were getting over that, at the end of February one kid started coughing. It went through all of us and it was mid-March before no one was coughing at all. It's not chronic illness; I can trace the source of almost all of those bugs and all but one were passed from someone who was asymptomatic and stayed home once they got sick.

In each case I kept us home or only around close family who knew the details until we were  well.

And that is why the safer at home orders have been a balm to my soul when they finally came. At least for now I've had a respite from the common things that get passed around every winter. But, yeah, we are generally healthy and this was a bad year for us. But it's not like I think we need to go to the doctor to get some explanation for constant sickness. It is pretty easily explained by neighbors in the public school and church.

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Just now, square_25 said:

 

People have jobs. They don't usually have a babysitter on call for minor sniffles. 

Right. As I said several times, I get WHY people are forced into the situation. I don't get why people think it is not a problem. There is a difference between, "I hate sending them sick, but I have to or I'll get fired" and "why wouldn't I, of course kids are sick and snotty at preschool/school/etc, that's just normal and no big deal". 

I think we need way better sick live/family leave policies as a society, and better school policies regarding absences. But instead of wanting that some people seem to just think this is fine, not a problem. 

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1 minute ago, EmseB said:

We got norovirus in November. Then we had colds in December but were better by Christmas. In early/mid-Feb two got a fever and the rest of us got sniffles. Right as we were getting over that, at the end of February one kid started coughing. It went through all of us and it was mid-March before no one was coughing at all. It's not chronic illness; I can trace the source of almost all of those bugs and all but one were passed from someone who was asymptomatic and stayed home once they got sick.

In each case I kept us home or only around close family who knew the details until we were  well.

And that is why the safer at home orders have been a balm to my soul when they finally came. At least for now I've had a respite from the common things that get passed around every winter. But, yeah, we are generally healthy and this was a bad year for us. But it's not like I think we need to go to the doctor to get some explanation for constant sickness. It is pretty easily explained by neighbors in the public school and church.

Ok, I think i was understanding it as one kid was sick for a month at a time, every month, not that it would take a month to work through the family. That makes way more sense!

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1 hour ago, Ktgrok said:

I remember there was ONE kid in my elementary school who had a chronically runny nose. He was always snotty, and I would imagine there were sinus issues or allergies, but it was noticeable because it was ONE kid. It was spoken about. No one was used to seeing a kid who was all snotty at school. 

 

My sister was snotty all the time in elementary school - they used to call her S___ Snots.  My daughter was snotty all the time up to a certain grade.  Neither due to being actually sick.

There isn't much to do other than try to teach them how to wipe their snots properly (and some kids take longer than others to learn this).

Personally, I get a runny nose every time the temperature changes.  I always carry tissues around.  Not much else to be done about it.

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I agree KTGROK it just needs to be less acceptable.   My oldest did go to preschool and she didn't get sick all of the time because they had very strict rules.  If they wiped a nose 3 times the kid was sent home.  The rule at their school now is no working cough which seems like a reasonable standard, obviously no fever, diahrea or puking.  

If someone in the house has snot or cough they stay home.  We can find a way to get other kids to activities.  Though I've never had one where a parent had to be there just a responsible adult.  If anyone in the house has fever, puke, diarrhea everyone stays home except DH.  DH self quarantines as much as possible and takes extra care at work.

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1 hour ago, square_25 said:

Well, here's my personal reason why: I get sick a LOT less often than I used to, because I have antibodies for all sorts of rhinoviruses. I actually basically like this fact. 

After all the colds of the preschool years, my kids get sick way less often, because they have quite a few antibodies. It's helpful. 

On the other hand, I have NO DESIRE for them to get pinkeye or the flu or a stomach bug or any of the grosser diseases. So I do get mad about people sending those kids. But colds, I'm fine with. 

 

1 hour ago, StellaM said:

See, two of mine went to preschool, and one of them didn't, and there was about zero difference in when they all stopped getting colds and bugs as little kids, and passing them on to me.

So I think the 'preschool for immunity' benefits are over-stated.

Kids are exposed to things that prime their immune system all the time in day to day life.

Animals, dirt, the people in the supermarket, the playground, other family members, friends...

See, I heard that a lot. But my oldest went straight to kindergarten, no preschool. And he didn't get sick much at all, not anymore than other kids his age for sure. I tend to think it is age, not immunity build up, but that's just anecdotal, although my mother, a nurse, agrees. 

Plus, personally, I'd WAY rather a sick 6 yr old or older than a sick 3 or 4 year old. Any day. 

But I get not everyone has that privilege. Like I said, I get that if you don't have a choice, you do what you have to do. My issue is with society at large, with its crappy sick policies, etc, not with individuals who have no choice, or don't think the kid is contagious, or know the kid isn't contagious.

My beef is only with people who have a choice, but choose to send kids they know are contagious out among others to spread the germs, when they don't have to, and see nothing wrong with that. 

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7 hours ago, Jaybee said:

Rabbit Trail Alert.

Well, as far as my kids were concerned, because we homeschooled, I didn't often have to make decisions about whether they had to go out or not when sick. I was thankful that they could just take it easy when they were under the weather though, rather than our having to make a decision over how bad was bad enough. The occasions here and there when they were in school, no, they didn't stay home due to a bad cold unless they ran fever or were obviously feeling bad. 

This conversation raises an honest question for me, though. When I was growing up (a LONG time ago), we never heard about immunocompromised people/diseases/situations, and we were pretty medically aware (my dad was a family doctor). I knew no or few people who were often sick, aside from some allergy symptoms. Even with my kids, that didn't come up (they are mostly adults now, who primarily grew up overseas). What has changed? I don't think it is just awareness, because I would have noticed if someone I knew was absent from school or church activities often, due to sickness. Sickness happened sometimes, of course, but I don't recall anyone who seemed to always be coming down with something, or for whom the ordinary colds, etc., became much more serious.

Maybe survival rates for people with those illnesses.  I grew up fairly unaware but dh had someone at this church with I think cystic fibrosis.  Doctors didn’t expect him to live past 20 but he’s now 40 or so with a couple of kids (extremely unlikely outcome 30 years ago from what he says).

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1 hour ago, Ausmumof3 said:

Maybe survival rates for people with those illnesses.  I grew up fairly unaware but dh had someone at this church with I think cystic fibrosis.  Doctors didn’t expect him to live past 20 but he’s now 40 or so with a couple of kids (extremely unlikely outcome 30 years ago from what he says).

Yeah, until the pounding-vests were invented CF patients rarely made it to 20 yo.  Now between the vests and new drugs, the luckier patients are living into their 40s and 50s.

It is still an absolutely ghastly disease.

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I can’t remember if this was the thread where people were saying they wished there was some firm metric or guidelines on what needed to happen before restrictions were lifted.  But I thought I’d share what Aus gov have outline here

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-05-01/coronavirus-restrictions-advice-relaxed-requirements/12206910
 

they have 15 items, we still need to meet 4 of them.  The four we’re not up on are

sufficient and reliable supply of gowns and gloves 
enough people downloading the contact tracing app 

serosurveillance (antibody testing) in the general population

funding and resource for a National Disease Surveillance Plan

national cabinet are supposed to be deciding on lifting restrictions next Friday (brought forward from the previous deadline of May 28)

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When I was having to put materials together for online teaching because of COVID I used some videos  from Yale Open Class which I had used a number of times before and had never noticed how many times the professor wiped his nose and how many times students in the room coughed.  I was curious about how often people coughed, on average, and found a study of children that found  that, on average, a non-sick child coughs about 10 times a day, some had a much higher incidence of coughs, even though they were not ill.  

One of my children was out and about, in various group and child care settings from infancy.  In fact, we traveled overseas when that child was less than two months old.  That child was rarely ill, and did not have anything besides a "well baby check" until about 4 or 5 years old.  The other child did not go to child care and was not in nearly as many group situations, but was our baby who was sick quite a bit.  While exposure has some to do with, I think a great deal varies from child to child.

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Regarding keeping sick kids home - I just learned that a child in a family that we know was diagnosed with influenza type A this winter. I knew she'd been sick because she stayed home. The child's siblings did not stay home and had several activities with my daughter. I remember that the siblings had a very bad cough. My daughter got sick soon after this and had a bad cough for about a week. One of these children is a very close friend of my daughter so they were very close physically when they were together for several hours. 

No one told me that this girl had been diagnosed with influenza. 

What do you guys think about this? I think we should have been told that this girl had an official diagnosis. Should the siblings be kept home too? 

This same group of kids had a lice outbreak about 2 years ago. Everyone shared information. Kids got their hair cut. We got instructions about staying home which everyone followed. It seems like they were all more afraid of lice than the flu. 

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1 hour ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

Regarding keeping sick kids home - I just learned that a child in a family that we know was diagnosed with influenza type A this winter. I knew she'd been sick because she stayed home. The child's siblings did not stay home and had several activities with my daughter. I remember that the siblings had a very bad cough. My daughter got sick soon after this and had a bad cough for about a week. One of these children is a very close friend of my daughter so they were very close physically when they were together for several hours. 

No one told me that this girl had been diagnosed with influenza. 

What do you guys think about this? I think we should have been told that this girl had an official diagnosis. Should the siblings be kept home too? 

This same group of kids had a lice outbreak about 2 years ago. Everyone shared information. Kids got their hair cut. We got instructions about staying home which everyone followed. It seems like they were all more afraid of lice than the flu. 

Yes, the polite thing if this was a non essential activity would be to give a heads up. Sounds like she was symptomatic of flu, sister had a diagnosed case of the flu, but they didn't get the one tested?

I got super annoyed when my neighbor sent over one kid to play hours after her other kid tested positive for flu. I get that school, etc has to go on, but you don't need to come infect my kids just cause yours is bored. 

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On 4/30/2020 at 6:20 PM, happysmileylady said:

 

And the reason I asked about the Florida thing is because I am wondering if perhaps you don't have as much experience with winter cold/flu season as those of us spending most of our lives in the midwest, where these things pass around more easily at that time of year.  


Well, we are a Midwest family. We currently have 4 kids under 10. Prior to this winter, there was often a kid with sniffles in the house. They've never done any formal classes/school outside of the home (well, other than swimming lessons in the summer). We do, however, go to church  and Sunday school weekly (not now, obviously) and to the library. Last fall I decided to really focus on germs/germ awareness/washing hands. And I became very, very, very insistent that each and every time you walk into our house you take off shoes/coat, put them away, and proceed straight to a sink to wash your hand well with soap and water. I had to monitor this closely at first, even for the then 7 and 9 yo. Now it's pretty much habit.

I also made the change of avoiding story time at the library. My kids never liked participating. And I figured if we went when the library was less busy we'd encounter less germs.

And this winter we barely had any illness at all in our house! So I have experience both ways. I think we as a society need to really focus on germ awareness (i.e. hand washing, distancing, and staying home when sick). Everyone doing what they can do to those things (and yes, I realize we need better sick leave and things) really would go a long way toward breaking the "constantly sick" cycle, imo anyway.

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14 minutes ago, mms said:

So, the no shoes in house, wash hands immediately when entering and before every meal policy has been in effect during the entirety of my children’s lives because that is the culture I was raised in (I’ve slipped in enforcing not sitting in street clothes even on made beds - need to start that). My children still bring home every bug known to man and throughout winter somebody will have the sniffles at all times and we get norovirus once every year. Yeah, mileage may vary on that.

I think it may also matter how long you are out and about. If out for 4 hours, washing when you get home may very well be too late - they have already been touching their face, nose, eyes, etc for hours. If going to the library for a bit, then home and washing all within a short time frame, probably better chance of washing off the germs before they make it to the nose/eyes/etc. 

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13 minutes ago, mms said:

So, the no shoes in house, wash hands immediately when entering and before every meal policy has been in effect during the entirety of my children’s lives because that is the culture I was raised in (I’ve slipped in enforcing not sitting in street clothes even on made beds - need to start that). My children still bring home every bug known to man and throughout winter somebody will have the sniffles at all times and we get norovirus once every year. Yeah, mileage may vary on that.


Oh, I absolutely believe that's also possible. I just wanted to respond to the idea that in places with more of a cold/flu/winter illness season, it's impossible to have small children/a family and not have at least one person who is always sick. It's not impossible. 

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Quote

This conversation raises an honest question for me, though. When I was growing up (a LONG time ago), we never heard about immunocompromised people/diseases/situations, and we were pretty medically aware (my dad was a family doctor). I knew no or few people who were often sick, aside from some allergy symptoms. Even with my kids, that didn't come up (they are mostly adults now, who primarily grew up overseas). What has changed? I don't think it is just awareness, because I would have noticed if someone I knew was absent from school or church activities often, due to sickness. Sickness happened sometimes, of course, but I don't recall anyone who seemed to always be coming down with something, or for whom the ordinary colds, etc., became much more serious.

 

Potentially lots of things.

First of all, as mentioned, survival rates went up for all sorts of things. It could be that a lot of people who get the sniffles all the time now in the past would've died of the flu one year and that would've been that.

Secondly, the public schools now have to take all kinds of kids. It used to be that they could turn you away for disability, now they can't. Some kids who have severe chronic illness are therefore in school nowadays when before they would not have been.

Third, most children no longer have an at-home adult, so their parents have to send them to school when they're a little under the weather. Disease spreads more, everybody is sick a little more often.

However, it does seem that some conditions, such as allergies, may be on the rise. The actual rise, not just "we notice it/diagnose it more" rise. (Very important not to confuse the diagnostic rate with the incidence rate! It's never going to be a perfect match.) We don't really know why this is. Better hygiene meaning kids don't get sick as much meaning their immune systems go crazy? Increase in vaccinations meaning the same thing? (Then again, maybe some or many of those kids who have allergies or asthma today would've died of diptheria or measles in the past. No way of knowing.) Increased pollution, or different types of pollution? Lack of exercise? Change in diet? There's no way of knowing for sure.

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