Well, if it isn’t old Norovirus, you horrible, horrible germ. We meet again. As is your way, you’ve invaded my home, attacked my children, and compromised my sanity. Yes, you are a worthy opponent. You may have won the battle this week, but you won’t win the war. You may be looking for a place to settle down and stay for a while, but you, my sworn enemy, are out of luck. I stand against you, armed with Lysol, Clorox Bleach, and Ritz crackers.
Oh, yes. You strike fear to my heart. Nothing grips me like hearing, “So-and-so threw up in school today. I walked her down to the nurse’s office.” My head screams, “WHAT?!? WHY DID YOU DO THAT?!? NOW YOU’VE EXPOSED YOURSELF TO IT!!! YOU FOOL!!!” Then I remember that the person telling me this is five years old and my lessons of trying to be a good friend and look out for each other might be paying off, so instead I say, “Oh, that’s terrible! Poor So-and-so! I hope she’s back at school soon!”
Of course, about three days later, I see you start to lurk in that same kind child. The sound of a little voice saying, “My tummy feels funny,” is all it takes for me to go running for the bucket. I know you’re here. I don’t know when you’ll strike, but I do know that that bucket is going to be part of my home décor for the next week (maybe two) as you rip through my family members one by one.
You’ve been particularly ambitious this year. I don’t remember you hitting so many teachers in years past. (We all know teachers have immune systems of steel, so you’ve really upped your game.) I heard a scientist on TV say that you mutate really fast, so it’s possible to get you over and over and over again. You’re like an X-Man of illnesses. That’s not playing by the rules. Not cool, Norovirus, not cool.
I think the worst part of your strategy is the bait-and-switch. “It’s been a week! No one else has gotten sick! I did it! I successfully quarantined it!” Two hours later: child number two vomits in bed. Damn you, you wily beast.
Four days later, you’ve taken five out of six of us. My husband stands strong. While he washes his hands for the thousandth time this morning, I’m making chicken soup and restocking the fridge with Gatorade. We may not be done with you yet, but you know you can’t last here.