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Olena's Journal: July 19

Okay, that Guatemalan Flu thing is looking scarier every day. We all know Toronto overreacts to everything – remember when they called in the army to deal with a bit of snow? – but they may actually have cause now. I can’t believe they actually shut down Pearson, though. Nothing shuts down Pearson. 9/11 didn’t shut down Pearson. So, Toronto friends, check in, please. For that matter, big city friends around the world, check in, please.

It looks like it’s here, too. My sister was at day camp today at the Y. She goes every few days, whenever she’s not following me to join the beginner class at the dojo. She’s pretty good, actually – I was surprised that the spoiled brat would actually work at anything as hard as she’s worked at Aikido with me teaching her. Anyway, when a kid started puking in class and complaining of earache, they sent everyone home. Those are the two big symptoms of the Guatemalan flu, or so CBC has reported. Mom got the same information from the local reporter who’s been headlining that the hospital isn’t ready for a crisis. Of course it’s not. It’s got thirty beds, three doctors, and its supply of antivirals wouldn’t be enough to keep the doctors themselves alive in a pandemic. Nobody expects a small town to be ready for a pandemic, though everyone’s OMGsoSCARED by that word. I’ve tried to explain what it means to Mom three times now, and each time she’s brushed me off. It’s simple, really: three countries with confirmed cases = worldwide pandemic. That’s it. Still, if this turns out to be the pandemic the medical community has been expecting for ten years, we may yet be in trouble.

I was just about to head out to my afternoon class when Katarina came home, all worried and upset about not getting her newly-fired pottery back. I told her she had nothing to worry about – the worst that would happen would be getting the flu for a few days before getting better. But I called the sensei and cancelled my classes for the afternoon, then went out to stock up on gatorade and soda crackers. Kat has been sharing a bench with the puking kid for several days running, and if it’s like most flus, her most contagious day was yesterday. Probably half the class will come down sick. But they’re healthy kids – they’ll get better.

That reporter managed to get the town to shut down the local businesses catering to truckers. It would appear they’ve succeeded admirably at shutting the barn door after the horse has escaped.

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