250 down, 1,000 to go?

And the school has been hit by a bug.  The winter vomiting bug.  10% of children off yesterday, 20% today, and a number of staff.  I went in for my weekly meeting with the Head, came home, washed and applied sanitiser, drank a tot of whisky and made a masala omelette for lunch with three eggs, an onion, two chillies and three cherry tomatoes.  Then I ate chocolate – but it’s sweetened with xylitol rather than sugar, so is good for my teeth.  I may catch this bug, but I’ll go down fighting.

And I’m going to hold Monday’s committee meeting here, rather than in school.  One of the governors is caring for a family member with cancer, another for a very elderly one.  Let’s not look for trouble, hey.  No illness at the sixth form site, but there’s 1,250 adults and children at the main school, so a lot of people are affected.

Russell is out at a funeral today.  It’s the time of the year, I’m sorry to say, and it’s not even as if it’s a cold winter.  Between us, we’ve been to eight or nine in the last four weeks, it’s a sad time.  My love to those thinking of people they’ve lost or are about to lose (one blog friend’s father is desperately ill and will not recover).  Today is the 44th anniversary of my father’s death, Monday is the 27th anniversary of my stepfather’s.

And now I’m going to spend an hour on school stuff and, I hope, put it aside for the weekend.  Then I shall go and play the piano.  Champagne tonight, I think.  Remember people with a smile.

10 comments on “250 down, 1,000 to go?

  1. Sir Bruin

    Maybe you should only eat food that will look the same coming up as it did going down – just in case? Helpful hint no.137

  2. Z Post author

    I play my turn in Lexulous (five games on the go with John, as well as Scrabble and Words with Friends many times over) and what happens? He plays again and I’m behind again!

  3. Blue Witch

    Do Public Health have to be involved in investigating an outbreak that big, in a school?

    When I did my last Food Safety course we were told that Norovirus within an ‘institution’ was usually (but not invariably) the result of poor food handling (eg one ill person who’s come into work because otherwise they won’t get paid, or will get a bad record) or poor cleaning practices (eg toilets cleaned with same cloth as washbasins and door handles), tables and door handles not washed down regularly, rather than something emanating from outside brought in by just one person. Poor hygiene by ‘inmates’ (eg not washing hands frequently, before eating etc) then quickly leads to multiple infection.

    There was also something saying that use of incorrect cleaning products had led to huge increases – IIRC the fall in popularity of chlorine-based (eg bleach-containing) products was blamed.

    Room for some staff training / assemblies on how to prevent germs spreading and reduce the risk of a recurrence. There are loads of great (gruesome!) videos around on the subject.

  4. Z Post author

    They have been notified, BW, and the advice they gave is on the school’s website. Advice has been given to students (and staff) re handwashing etc, cleaners have been requested to pay particular attention to doorhandles etc. Apparently, the bug comes on very quickly – someone who feels fine in the morning can be ill an hour later, so it’s possible that’s how it started – but I don’t know that. You couldn’t work through it, you can’t move far from the loo for 24 hours, frankly. We employ our cooks directly, they work under the pay terms of all support staff and would not be penalised for illness. Right now, we’re managing the outbreak as best we can, will see if we can identify how it started later. I had my weekly meeting with the Head yesterday: since her PA and Finance director (line manager for the kitchen staff) were both off, she was multi-tasking like a dervish – and had got fully organised by 9.30 am.

    I’m fine, thanks. A precautionary glass of wine with lunch, which included onion and garlic.


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