Today I’m flying from Los Angeles to New York to start my reserve rotation for May. I’m bringing my son along with me. He’s two. Because my husband travels on business often and I’ll be on-call, my son will be spending eight days with grandma and grandpa. Oh sure I’ll take the train out to see him in-between trips. That’s not the problem. The problem is with all this talk about swine flu, I can’t help but be a little nervous, not for me, but for him!
We’ll be traveling by plane and in New York where 75 people in Queens were recently diagnosed with the disease. Did I happen to mention my crashpad is in Queens? I’ll have zero control over where I’m going and how long I’ll be there. When I voiced my concerns, here’s what a few of my friends had to say…
“Heather, I think there’s a Mexico City layover with your name all over it! Hee, hee!”
“Don’t think you have to go to Mexico, Mexico will come to you. Start a new trend, nothing is hotter than a flight attendant with a Michael Jackson mask on! If you rock the body condom from the movie Naked Gun, I want to be there!”
“Every time I wake up in the MEX layover hotel I breathe a sigh of relief that I wasn’t crushed in an earthquake overnight. Now if I can just not breathe while down there . . .”
“The only other thing you need besides a diagnosis is a company that’s not completely irrational and predatory about sick leave use. The company has denied me sick time, garnished pay for the days missed, and said to the union, “grieve it,” which is a years-long process.”
So what am I, the flight attendant, required to do if I see a passenger who may be exhibiting swine flu like symptoms?
Yeah, that's me, the one standing in the aisle wearing flammable polyester...