I ignored the flu for a long time. I knew it was coming. I am even in a flu study through my job. But I sort of hoped that we would get the flu and not know it (this could have happened, of course, as we have been fighting off a series of colds and bugs) but ignorance does us no good.
Because after months of news reports from other corners of the world, that nasty virus showed up at my daughter’s daycare last week. She was vaccinated last week too (suddenly swallowing all concerns about mercury and the like), but it does not fully work for a while, and she is in a risk group (asthma). So she stayed home. Apparently, many kids stayed home – only 17 of 36 children in her group came to dagis on Friday.
Both kids also got sick last week, a low fever, wheezing, worrying kind of sick. So we skipped two parties we were invited to, and I ended up pushing them in the sibling stroller out into the rain on Sunday.
I have no funny stories about this walk. Not in Sweden in November. No, I just walked into the rain, and both kids went quiet and just sort of stared into the dim midday. My 9-month-old baby is clearly depressed by the weather. This is his first November ever, and he is sad when he goes outside. What must he think of the world?
Maybe he worships the sunlamp like the rest of us.
Anyway, I did not want to walk around our nearby lake because I thought the children might get antsy. So I just went. This was a mistake, as I left the trails of green beauty in Solna and entered the modernist, concrete ugliness. We trudged by a big road, around the mall, up a hill (look Daddy, a pillow in the tree! yes, trash was a highlight on this day), around the backend of the mall, along another big road, through a gas station parking lot and then back home through stained, orange apartment buildings under the shadow of huge blue monoliths that block out the sun.
The children did not get antsy. They did not eat. They did not talk. The baby smiled if I tickled him. The toddler got excited by that trash.
November. Flu season. Solna.
Turn on the sunlamp!