Q: How is BH's H1N1? He's the first local case I've heard about.
A: He's fine. Thanks for your concern. BTW - BH tested positive for Influenza A. He never actually had a test for H1N1.
Q: Why not?
A: The H1N1 test is no longer available in LA County unless you're dying…and by then you probably don't need or want the test results anyway. BH went to the doctor with a fever (because he was close to going to camp and we thought he had strep) and was given a quick swab test, which showed he was positive for Influenza A.
Q: So it wasn't a confirmed case of H1N1?
A: No. The CDC has told LA doctors to tell their patients that they can "assume" they have swine flu if they're positive for Influenza A, because there are no other influenza A's going around.
Q: Hmm. Sounds like a conspiracy - a way to keep doctors from having to report that their patients have a potentially deadly disease.
A: Correct. It is a plot that was dreamed up by the Santa Monica and Beverly Hills Chambers of Commerce – Everyone around here has a fever, but why should we have to shut down and lose tourist dollars like the pobres mexicanos? By not testing there are no "comfirmed cases" to report, tourism thrives and Tamiflu stockholders prosper. It's a win-win.
At any rate, BH has recovered and is heading off to camp.
Q: So what are you agonizing about now?
A: I am trying to get CJ to go shopping for bedding and shower-totes, a favorite activity for 18-year old boys.
Q: Are you the only mom in your community thinking about linens?
A: No! This has emerged as the #1 topic of conversation among parents of college-bound kids. In fact, just in the past three days, I have received THREE calls from parents seeking advice about whether to get an XL Duvet Cover to go with the mandatory XL twin sheets, which are supposedly 4-8" longer than regular twin sheets.
Q: So what's the answer? Will a regular-length blanket work on an XL dorm bed?
A: This has required almost as much research as my H1N1 investigation. Here is what I've learned:
XL sheets ARE necessary – they are NOT a potential scam like Tamiflu. But the NPI has done a preliminary study that shows an undo amount of fear and hype associated with dormitory sheet-length. This could be because the media has blown the situation out of proportion: One linen company sent out an urgent letter to parents saying that it would be a "disaster" if students showed up in the dorms with regular-length twin sheets. So, to avoid a nightmarish move-in experience, XL it is.
Q: If I buy XL sheets, can I pair them with regular-sized duvets and covers, which are available in 300+ thread counts? Or do I have to buy something tacky and scratchy designed for a dorm?
A: A complicated dilemma, enhanced by an additional risk: If you find a nice XL duvet, you might not find a decent XL cover and visa versa.
And I thought this summer would be relatively stress-free, a time to enjoy long games of Scrabble and BBQs with my son. Instead, as I recover from my quarantine, I face a crisis as formidable as last summer's Situation about which SAT II to take. Will report back after a tour and briefing at our local Bed, Bath and Beyond.
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