I feel we should all be draping ourselves in white sheets at my house, but instead most of us are draping ourselves in wool, or at least I am, because I am freezing all the time, except of course when Iâ€™m boiling up, which usually happens in the middle of the night. Hot flash? Fever? Who can say?
My mother returned from a conference in Florida Sunday night sicker than Iâ€™ve ever seen herâ€”quite literally delirious from fever at times, coughing, barely able to cross the room much less carry on a conversation. By the time she was strong enough to get to the doctor, it was Tuesday, and she tested positive for influenza A, but it was too late to start Tamiflu, so she was sent home with a raft of other drugs of the sort one generally only throws at the truly illâ€”prednisone, Zpac, and so on.
Wednesday morning I woke up feeling not too hot. Iâ€™d had a cough for several days but, but I often have a cough in the winter. By the time Iâ€™d gotten to work and finished emptying the cash drawers, I felt much worse and went home to discover that I, too, had a fever. That was the first day of the virtual appointments the UIHC was offering, and I got one with ease and got to talk to a doctor at length. She told me I was â€œthe muddiest caseâ€ sheâ€™d seen all day, but we decided flu A was the most likely and to throw some Tamiflu at it in case weâ€™d caught it in time. Itâ€™s Monday now, and Iâ€™m still home with a fever that comes and goes.
In my waking hours, in addition to trying to keep my child entertained, Iâ€™ve done very little but follow library Twitter for news of library closings. When this crowd-sourced document of public library closures started, it had only 29 listed. Itâ€™s up to 772 now, as I just submitted my library, which just decided to close tomorrow earlier today. I also added the library in the town where I live, which closed Sunday, so who knows how many more there are that havenâ€™t been reported. But there are about 35,000 public libraries total in the United States, so even this is just a fraction.
Tonight will be the last Monday night (or any night) my library is open to the public for the foreseeable future, and Iâ€™m sad not to be there. Monday have been my night at the library for seven years now. In those seven years there have been only a handful of times that I havenâ€™t made the final announcement: â€œThe time is 8:30 and the Coralville Public Library is now closed for the night. We will reopen tomorrow at 10:00 am. Thank you for your patronage, and have a good night.â€