Tuesday, June 2, 2009

H1N1, Discrimination, Staying Home

I heard from a Latina friend that there have been many cases in southeast Michigan of Latino/Hispanic kids being ostracized around the swine flu, particularly because it appears to have originated in Mexico. I haven't directly heard of any cases, but ever since the ICE raids (immigration service, used to be INS) there is a lot of reluctance--even on the part of legal residents and citizens--to draw attention to the Latino community. IF you hear about this kind of bullying and ostracizing, PLEASE share it with all levels of school administration, and the public health department--especially if the comments are coming from kids, and even more so if the comments are coming from staff. Have you heard about any cases? Because ethnic intimidation still happens in our communities, and the only way to stop it is to speak up about it.

On the east coast, my nephew came down with a slight fever. Despite the fact that his parents don't think he has flu--and unless the doctor excludes flu by either testing or confirming a different diagnosis (say, strep throat)--he has to stay out of school for seven days. Yes, even if the doctor doesn't think it is flu. And no, they are not routinely testing kids over age 5 for flu, so it probably can't be excluded. Which means major child care problems for his parents, and well--it seems excessive to me.

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