By Jen Mearns of The Undomestic Goddess
The Hatcher family has made the decision to stay in their home for the entirety of “cold and flu season.”
Jessica and Stanley and their four kids live in a four-bedroom house on a quiet street in southern Virginia. After a bad bout of colds, URIs, and the flu two years ago, they decided that they would hunker down and stay inside until the threat of viruses passed in the future.
“It really isn’t that bad,” Jessica said. “We stock up on non-perishables at Costco and found a source of dehydrated food products online. We don’t want anything delivered during cold season because germs can survive up to two weeks on plastic.
“We really can’t allow anything into the house. If, for some reason, they must have something delivered, the package will go through a 3-step decontamination process to ensure its cleanliness.”
The family homeschools for the entire year during those four months. The children learn for twelve hours a day, with one hour for recess.
Since they cannot play outside, they have activities set up in the basement for exercise and games. The children maintain their friendships through Skype and online chat, though Jessica believes that it could soon be possible to spread germs through the internet.
“You’ve heard of computer viruses, right?” she inquired.
Stanley works from home while Jessica teaches the children. He is unsure, however, if he will be able to continue to do so if Jessica places an embargo on all computer usage. It’s month three and with only a month to go, things are tense in the Hatcher household.
Jamie, the 9-year-old, hasn’t stopped reading “Charlotte’s Web” in two months. She’s read it 73 times.
John, her older brother, lifts weights every day at recess. He hopes to compete in the Junior Bodybuilding Competition when he’s old enough. His parents worry that at twelve, his height of 5’0” will be stunted further.
The twins have developed their own language called Twosies and haven’t spoken English in over seven weeks.
But Jessica remains cool and level-headed. “It works. We haven’t gotten a cold or the flu in two years. In fact, the twins have such bad allergies, we might just hermetically seal the house and install an air purification system so we can stay inside year-round.”
*Interview conducted via Skype
About the Author
My name is Jen Mearns and when I’m not wrangling three boys under four, I’m wrangling animals while pet sitting or most happily, writing. You can find my stuff on Scary Mommy, Pregnant Chicken, Hew View From Home, BabyGaga and Swaddles N’ Bottles. You can also find my personal blog, The Undomestic Goddess, and follow me on Facebook, Twitter @jennmearns, and Instagram.