Mr. W complained last night of stomachache, but he has an oddly sensitive digestive system, so I didn’t think it was anything unusual. By lunchtime when I called him, he sounded listless and thick-voiced.
“Were you napping?” I asked him.
“No, I’m sick. My body is achy, I feel weak, my stomach still hurts, and I have a headache.” Oh, crap. The current super-norovirus from Sydney, Australia has these symptoms, plus vomiting and/or diarrhea. It’s not the H3N1 flu that’s been ravaging the country, which our flu vaccine this year covers. I know that one of Mr. W’s coworkers had been out the first three days this week with norovirus symptoms and when it’d first started, he’d thought it was food poisoning (a common misidentification given the symptoms). He’s back to work now but still not feeling better. This Sydney norovirus remains contagious up to 3 days after the person has recovered, and is apparently so hardy that it withstands temperatures of 140 degrees Fahrenheit and transmits itself to different victims through even cooked food. It’s running rampant in our county jail system, and sick inmates have been quarantined, court hearings have had to be continued when inmates couldn’t be transported to court due to all the quarantines and sickness. When you share a toilet in the open with fifty other men any given time, you tend to spread illness especially when diarrhea is a symptom. Makes me glad that we’re doing a civil trial and not a criminal trial with an in-custody defendant.
Mr. W said he may just take the afternoon off so that he could nap at work (he can’t leave early cuz we carpooled and I’m in trial). I said, “Okay, I’ll call you every 10 minutes to check up on you.”
“Don’t you DARE,” he said, sounding serious.
“Or what?” I challenged.
He thought for a few seconds and then said, “Or I’m going to play with Allie when we get home.”
Big loud suck of air from me as I gasped in disbelief. “Don’t you DARE!”
At least he laughed. But now I’m all paranoid that Allie’s gonna get norovirus after she’d just recovered from her cold. 🙁 It’s going to be tough having 100% Allie duty without help or the ability to hand her off while I do her dishes or prep her food, but I think it’s worth quarantining Mr. W to the bedroom if it means Allie can stay healthy. Diarrhea is more common in adults, vomiting in children. Both put the sick person in danger of dehydration and in children, malnutrition.
“If I catch this from you,” I told Mr. W, “I’m going to eat a bunch of cupcakes.” Even with that enticement, I’m still hoping what Mr. W has is not the super norovirus from Sydney.