Did I ever mention I was a drama queen? Although I like to believe I’m over that.
I have a history with swine flu. As a TV reporter I covered the first swine flu episode, which turned out to be a complete bust. Not only as a news story, but as a health scare.
I also have a history with news stories and health scares. Just after 9/11 I cancelled our family trip to my nephew’s bar mitzvah. It was the apex of the anthrax scare, and I couldn’t bring myself to get on a plane to New York.
You have to factor in cancer, too. In some ways, you play that card for the rest of your life. Not just the reality that bad things DO happen. But also the reality that since I had chemo, my immune system is weaker—when it comes to fighting off things like…. swine flu.
My dormant drama queen resurfaced when I heard the flu hit Mexico. Obviously, California would be next, and I was kind of relieved to be leaving for a few days. Even though I wasn’t thrilled about sitting for 5 hours in the germ incubator otherwise known as a commercial airliner.
So I’m already whining about swine when I arrive at the airport. Even before I check in and look up at the TV screen and see that the first cases of swine flu are now confirmed in the United States. In Queens, New York. Did I mention where I’m headed?
It’s anthrax anxiety all over again. I mentally award myself a personal purple heart just for getting on the plane to JFK.
On the way into Manhattan I think about holding my breath when we drive through Queens. In Manhattan there is no sign of a pandemic or epidemic or any demic at all. Everyone strides around taking everything in stride. No sign of swine. You’d never know there is anything going on. Unless you happened to be with me.
Did I mention I was a drama queen?