Friends and neighbors were afraid to be near us. Their children couldn't play with our daughter. The owner of the small personal training studio I work at called and said I should stay home for a week - that clients did not want to come in if I was going to be there - even other trainer's clients. All of a sudden my family had turned into lepers.
To be fair, I can't totally blame them. They had watched a flood of constant news coverage and started drowning in it. It must have been very easy to think that everyone coming back from Mexico, even a remote island far away from Mexico City, even an island where there were no confirmed flu cases, an island that has its own little airport where the "crowds" are small, has great potential to carry this virus. They were in danger and their children were in danger because that's what they saw on TV.
I wanted to say, "Get a grip!" There are 110 million people in Mexico and there were 437 confirmed cases of swine flu, most in Mexico City, nowhere near Cozumel. Do you know how small of a percentage that is? I can't even figure it out in my head, but I know it's miniscule, with a lot of zeros before the point 1. But our friends' fears were set in stone, so we respected their wishes and stayed far away.
I was beginning to feel like maybe I was the one who needed to "get a grip" on the severity of our situation when the nurse at my daughter's middle school called. Before she could even tell me why she was calling, I told her not to worry - I'd be keeping my daughter out of school for the week.