Welcome to swine flu Quarantine!!!!

(Day one of the pandemic: 300 piece puzzle. Done.)

Seriously. They canceled school in both districts in our county until May 11th. That's 14 schools and 50k students. And every day care. And gymnastics. And girl scouts.

Three cases of "highly probably" swine flu have been found in the County with "more pending"

Here's the email the school sent out at 8:30 pm on Tuesday.

Comal ISD closing all schools
immediately through May 11

It is the recommendation of the Comal County Health Department that Comal ISD close all of its schools beginning Wednesday, April 29th until Monday, May 11. The New Braunfels ISD is also closing all of its schools for that time period.

There are at least three highly probable cases of swine flu in Comal County. Other cases are pending.

So, out of an abundance of caution and because our school district needs to do its part to help stop the spread of infection, we are complying with the Comal County Health Department recommendation immediately.

The cancellation of school until May 11 also means there will be no extracurricular activities, such as field trips, and no meetings in our schools. For UIL athletic and academic events, get in touch with your child’s head coach or coordinator.

The Health Department is asking people to stay home if they are sick.

Comal ISD employees are not to report to work unless notified otherwise by their supervisor.

The Health Department and Comal ISD realize the closing of schools may be an inconvenience to your family. The health and safety of our community, our students and staff, is important.

Monitor our Comal ISD website for updates and any other information we can provide. Thank you.

For more information, please visit the Texas Department of State Health Services website at http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/swineflu/default.shtm

I tell you what, the panic is pretty palpable. Since a case of swine flu/HPN1 was found in a nearby town, people started to keep their kids home from school. I didn't keep the girls home, mostly because they've already missed a week out of school for a regular flu and Salmonella (more on that later). I figured they had taken their punches.

It's crazy... Here's a story from our community paper (this is where my column runs, btw). I'm not sure how effective this is, some people think the district is over reacting. I don't know. Three students sick, no one sure about the strain, who wants to risk it? Of course I'm driving to Austin for work, so are thousands more. Hopefully I can run the road blocks.

JUST KIDDING. But I do have to get into the office.

The downside (okay, my personal downside 'cuz it's all about me) is that I still have this frigging cough, which, combined with the fact that I am hispanic (but not from Mexico, for the record) is enough to make people cover their mouths and run screaming from the room. Lord forbid I should sneeze. In fact, everytime anyone around here does sneeze we immediately say "Swine Flu!" instead of "bless you."

So this is our little epicenter blog of the pandemic. I'll let you know how it goes juggling two working parents, kids out of school for two weeks with strict orders from the health department to not gather for play dates or in groups larger than 20 (no kidding).

If the flu doesn't get us, the cabin fever certainly will...