Here’s a question for a dreary, rain-soaked summer afternoon – what happens when a carer gets swine flu?

Prompted by a tweet from @carersdirect about the need for carers to have a plan of action in place, ready to roll at a moment’s service, I figured I’d share a few thoughts.

Rachel and I have already discussed what will happen when swine flu strikes.

Let’s face it, the chances are at some point over the next few months one of us (if not both of us) will succumb.

Option one is to start living life in a bubble.

bubble

But option two – carry on regardless and if I catch it then so be it – seems to be the more realistic.

I go out to work five days a week and travel on public transport (I have train trips to London and sunny Sleaford to look forward to next week), which means my chances of exposure are pretty high.

The fact that I genuinely believe I won’t get ill…ever…isn’t enough to make me immune.

So a plan of action is required.

We haven’t yet got as far as devising a list of bullet-points – but it is a slow, dismal afternoon so I might be tempted to complete one. We have, however, had a few initial discussions and thoughts and ideas of how we would sit out the full onslaught of the worst that swine flu has to offer.

But we probably need to sort something a little more concrete out sooner rather than later. And we probably need to share this information with close family, friends and neighbours too.

Perhaps I should also post it up here?

There is advice out there and there is help available too.

The only sure fire certainty at the moment is that we won’t bother looking on media sites for helpful tips and useful links. The general tone amidst the screaming headlines and scaremongering paragraph of unsubstantiated anecdotes seems to be “DON’T GO OUTSIDE! ARE YOU MAD? YOU’RE ALL DOOMED!”

So what does happen when a carer catches swine flu?

They carry on as best they can, they muddle through and with help from family, friends and maybe even their local social service, they get the job done.

Same as it ever was.

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5 responses »

  1. ashysheela says:

    We have discussed it, and keep stocking up on non-perishables (if only they were non-edible as i keep eating them! I thought why suffer with bad food when i have flu so it is nice stuff!).

    hmm anyway, our major problem will be dog walking, due to the quarantine aspect. If J gets it i can just about make food, look after her poorly person needs etc even if not up to usual standards and we can muddle through between us; but i cannot take the dog out nearly enough. When she had chicken pox she would go out very early, face covered so as not to scare folk and shout at people not to come close – not ideal but what else could she do? But should we be more responsible in a “pandemic” and not contribute to the spread? I know not a great example as dog walking may not seem essential, but without a garden the dog does need to do her business in public areas!

    If people cannot get help there are going to be times they have to break quarantine in order to fulfull their necessary caring duties, the question is do we wear a face mask and a big sign saying “stay away & hold your breath” or just wash our hands first, sneak out and try not to sneeze on anyone…?

  2. Paul Groves says:

    Hi. The dog walking is a valid point – can you get a “flu buddy” who will take your dog for a walk and fetch you essentials at the same time? Or a pet walking service to help out for what would hopefully only be a few days (ever the optimist).

    I think internet grocery shopping will come into its own. Ordering plenty of easy-to-cook stuff online to be delivered would be the way to go.

    Face masks also make sense and I’m surprised I haven’t seen more people wearing them given some of the alarmist coverage.

    But judging by the amount of people who coughed, spluttered and sniffled their way through the last train journey I took from Birmingham to London, I’m not sure the message about spreading germs is getting through!

  3. ashysheela says:

    we already use a dog walker in the middle of the day when i am alone, but she goes out 3 times/day! We could just get them/someone else to keep her for a while maybe 😉 I hope the dog walkers don’t get it and leave me in the lurch!

    Yes i think online shopping will be a boom if things get bad – even if they just leave on doorstep and stand back while you sign – i expect the financial benefits will mean that service will continue, phew!

    Apparently the face masks can be unhygienic if not changed often so not always a good solution… i think people feel too uncool wearing them or will be treated like lepers maybe! As for spreading germs, people are quite lax and thoughtless about it in general, even when i go to hospital i don’t see people using the alcohol hand rub when i go – very odd!

  4. Rosemary says:

    Hi Paul,

    Hope you are both well.

    I know you have mentioned the swine flu but I am posting this link just in case of use to any of your friends/readers if a different emergency crops up.
    It especially applies to those who have no back up support from family and friends

    http://www.carersuk.org/Information/Findinghelp/EmergencySchemesList

  5. Ursula says:

    Paul, I could cry – which is difficult when still laughing.

    Only recently did I pooh-pooh the hysteria over the mighty swine; only to find, as one does, that my own resident 17 year old got it to a T and – as we don’t do things by halves in this household – it was bad, very bad indeed.

    Once he was back with the living I said to Felix (I know it’s a deplorable trait in me of always seeing the up to the down) that he has got immunity now. Which is more than I can claim since – looking after him in close proximity – I did NOT catch it myself.

    In the end it’s only flu, Paul. And pigs might fly.

    As ever my dismissive self,
    U

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