It is really, really weird to see my high school on the national news.
MRSA has been a topic of conversation in my family lately after a volleyball player in Jamie’s district was diagnosed. On Monday afternoon my mom called me to tell me that one of Jay’s classmates had died from complications from the infection. Jamie called me herself a few times that night, feeling sad about the whole thing and scared about the health issues. She was not very close with Ashton, but one of her best friends was very close with him and took the news hard. I asked what other kids at school were saying and she said there were bulletins flying around MySpace saying that the school was trying to kill them and that they were going to have a protest at the flagpole at 8 the next morning. I thought, sure, that’ll happen, and went to bed.
Late on Tuesday morning, Jamie sent an email from school to me, Mom, and Dad, telling us that she was out at the flagpole to pray and to support her friends, but that she was not involved with the protest in any way. She called me later to tell me that they’d been held in first period all morning; the school claimed it was so students signing out were easy to locate, but I’m pretty sure they wanted to keep the kids in a controlled environment to avoid a riot. She said there was a rumor school would be closed on Wednesday, but she wasn’t sure if it was true or not.
If you’ve watched any national news since Tuesday evening, you know what happened next. The superintendent closed all of the schools in the county on Wednesday. They hired outside services to clean and disinfect the schools with confirmed MRSA cases and brought in county janitors to clean the rest of the schools. And AP picked up the story and I saw my high school on national television.
I went to a fairly small high school out in the country, one that until this week was mostly in the news because lots of its students are killed in car accidents every year. In my senior yearbook picture of some group I was in (maybe yearbook staff?), I’m sitting on top of that brick sign. I walked under those weird white overhang thingies every day for four years. Ginny and Sammi graduated from there. It is supremely weird to see Katie Couric talking about my dinky unremarkable high school.
I’m sure it’s even weirder for Jamie, who’s still a student there. She lost a classmate. Between friends, sports, and strength & conditioning classes, she’s around athletes all day long, and people keep saying that athletes are at higher risk. She stayed home yesterday while people in hazmat suits fogged her classrooms. There have been news crews all over campus.
It’s been just one strange and sad thing in what has been for me a week full of strange, sad, and kind of sucky things.