The madness of CNY this year started really fast this year and as usual, I often find myself out of time in the midst of the madness. I like to bake for my loved ones because I believe home-baked goodies are much healthier because you know what goes into them. This year, I plan out my CNY preparation rather early and was all raring to go. The plan would allow me to have ample rest despite the madness. I even worked out the plan without compromising on my tuition schedule and the kiddos’ study schedule. But like the chinese saying, 人算不如天算 (God’s plans supercede our own), my plans were once again thrown out of the window (I seem to be having issues with keeping to plans these days).
Last weekend (1 week before CNY), the Mr fell ill suddenly. He was practically in bed the whole weekend, with very little appetite. He complained of tummy bloated-ness and body aches. Immediately, things like dengue, zika came to my mind. Then Monday came, thinking that after the weekend’s bed rest probably helped, he went to work, only to have to return home midway. Once again, his body was aching and his head was throbbing. That very Monday afternoon, little K came home and her temperature suddenly rose. She was also unusually lethargic. The lethargy went on for 3 days together with her yoyo fever with the whole package of stuffy nose, cough and sore throat. The Mr was given a few days MC for the aches and then finally, fake measles and little K missed 3 days of school, including her school’s CNY celebration. So, there you go, my plans to go workout to burn all my pre-CNY fats and to bake all my favourite goodies in bigger quantities (so I can share around more) all vanished! In place, I had to check on my two sick darlings, go through medicines battles, constantly temperature, cook meals and also be the comfort pillow for the little one.
Then as though I was not given enough responsibilities and worries, big K’s class had a sudden stomach flu outbreak. The kids are taken till one by one with symptoms like tummy pains, vomiting and diarrhoea. I was at maximum paranoia yet, the little girl refused to let me keep her at home. The last thing I want is to have a puking girl in the house. So, I had to load her up with lotsa probiotics and vitamins and hope for the best. Right now I am still monitoring her because last the day before 2 kids had to be sent home for the same symptoms.
This few days probably tired me out so much that last night I just KO-ed and completely DID NOT WAKE UP to check on little K’s temperature. There few days also got me very angry. Why? Well, the girls and the Mr study and work in a school setting respectively. For some reasons, the way virus and germs spread in schools in out modern and supposedly developed country can be very scary. It is so normal to hear kids sniffing and coughing and yet still being sent to schools. And all these are because parents find it hard to get leave to care for sick children or they can’t get alternative care for their children. To make matter worse, this is the festive period, everyone is rushing for time to get things ‘settled’. So, schools seem to be the best place to put the kids in.
I can completely understand. I myself was so tempted to put small K in school today because her fever seems to have settled so that I can have that 3-hour free time to go battle it out in supermarket like famine is coming soon (I really cannot figure out why CNY is like some war and we must go and stock up EVERYTHING!) But she is still coughing and wheezing. So, despite knowing she will pass the temperature taking at the entrance, I chose to keep her at home. So, what I am trying to say is, yes, I understand that sometimes we really need the kids’ school time to get our things done.
BUT what I am appealing is, can we try to wear a mask if we are sick and I mean kids, included? I think this will help a lot especially in a school setting. I know there’s this unsaid stigma about mask wearing in Singapore. And people will tend to avoid contact, but HEY, isn’t it the whole point? You want to avoid people so that the germs won’t spread so, doesn’t it make your job easier if people chose to avoid you?
I cannot stop scratching my head why our educated society has such primitive practices such as not covering the mouths when coughing and sneezing and not practising proper hand-washing (observation in the public toilets). I also cannot fathom why people feel guilt for missing work due to sickness (the Mr being one of them. He got sent back for wanting to return to work, despite fake measles being not contagious)
I can’t say I am a 100% practitioner of good hygiene. I was guilty of sending kids to school, not 100% well. But I think I will try to make it a point so that I won’t disturb other people’s lives through inconsiderate act. This CNY, my girl will be wearing a mask when visiting (if her fever completely subsided), if her coughing is still persisting. I will ask her not to cough in front of others or cover her mouth if she really can’t control (she has been taught about it all the time). Hand sanitiser will always be with me. We hate to miss the festivities but we will celebrate with some caution. So I hope everyone else will too.