Several Flu Over the Cuckoo’s Nest


“The students are dropping like flies,” I announced, as I walked into Deidre’s room with a pottery mug in hand.

“Tell me about it,” she said.  “There’s flu, strep, mono and staph all going around.  Have you had a flu shot?”

“Nah.  I like to live life on the edge.  Plus, when I went overseas, they vaccinated me against everything except the Ebola virus, so I figure I’ve got enough antibodies to ward off most American germs.” I pointed to the mug on her desk, identical to mine, thanks to Peter’s thoughtfulness on a recent trip.  “But I do believe in local remedies to boost your immune system, so if you’ll hand me that mug, I’ll fortify us with a hot beverage.”

“Herbal or black tea?”


“Good.  I’ve already had three cups of coffee, so I need something unleaded.”  She placed her mug into my outstretched hand, and I was soon in the faculty lounge, opening tea bags and sanctifying our mugs with hot water.  Marcia walked in as I was squeezing honey out of a plastic bear.

“Going for the hard stuff?” she said.

“I’ve got to do something to defend myself against the four kinds of plague we’ve got going around.”  I put the bear back on the table and began stirring with a knife.

She put her own mug with five tea tags dangling over the rim on the checkered tablecloth.  “You know a couple more just went home, right?”

“Since morning assembly?”


I picked up the bear and fired another stream of bee pollens into my cup.  “I’m probably just a carrier at this point anyway.”

I returned to Deidre’s classroom and handed her a mug of tea while saying, “Local honey for immunity, orange spice tea for vitamin C.  It’s in God’s hands now.”

We brandished cups in the air and toasted to living life in a Petri dish.

Waging the war on germs

Waging the war on germs

© 2013 – Traci Carver


20 responses »

    • I’m pretty sure my blood is one scary conglomerate of antibodies, but as long as it keeps me going without the sniffles, I’m very thankful for it. Hope you had a wonderful holiday, Rebecca!

    • It’s amazing the number of delicacies a child can bring home on any given day. Sometimes you’re the carrier; sometimes you’re the lucky recipient. But I’m sure the other moms appreciate your unwillingness to share 🙂

  1. I’m not sure I have the strength to be a teacher just because of flu/stomach bug/etc. season. I wouldn’t last. One cough and I’d run out the door. I know, you build up immunity. But it’s definitely a Petri dish!

    • Some teachers have a rough first year, but after that, you become tough as nails. I can’t count the number of times (and this is probably due to repression) that a student has sneezed on a paper and then handed it directly to me. Gosh, thanks. 🙂

  2. I think I’ll have a sanctified mug of tea & honey right now what with the misty rain in Jacksonville. This post warmed the cockles of my heart, as usual. Stay well, we don’t want the bird (caged or uncaged) to stop singing!

    • Hot tea just makes you feel as if you’re doing something good for your body, doesn’t it? I was just recently in Jax and had a wonderful time! You have so many fun cafes and parks at your fingertips. Have you tried Cozy Tea? I love it and think you probably would too. 🙂

      • Yes, I’ve taken carloads of people (my Southern friends + family) there. It is so cozy, just like the name! When you come again, maybe we can arrange to meet sometime.

      • I would really enjoy that, Marian. I have a brother who lives there and a very close friend, so I visit the area several times a year. I’ll let you know!

    • Don’t even get me started about all the lovely illnesses we dodged in SE Asia. I’m just thankful that I stand a fighting chance with the honey remedy 🙂

  3. “Flu” is a bad word around here, too. You know I’m stocked up on the home remedies!!!!! Won’t have anything getting in the way of FUN! 🙂

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