This weekend on Facebook, at least a half-dozen friends posted queries as to whether or not they should go be going to Mass. Their kids were getting over the flu, had taken Tamiflu, and while they weren’t all the way better, they were improving. They’d had a bout of stomach bug yesterday, but were beginning to feel human today. The details were different, but the questions were the same – If we’re kind-of under the weather, should we still be going to Mass?
Can I just say how much I love you people who ask this question? You’re sick enough to have the Get-Out-of-Mass-Free card right there in your grasp, and yet your love of God, hunger for the Eucharist, and sense of duty have you yearning to be there.
Here’s how I see it – if you’re (or your kids are) sick enough to be asking that question, then please stay home.
I know that it’s painful to think about missing Christmas Mass, and you really are feeling better, but better doesn’t mean not-contagious. I’m coming to you as the mother of a child with an auto-immune disease and begging you to be merciful this Christmas. Your “almost better” could land her, the elderly, the very young, those on chemotherapy, etc in the hospital or, depending on the illness, even kill them.
The CDC came out last week and announced that this year’s flu vaccine isn’t very effective against this year’s strain due to mutations. That means that the immune-compromised population is unprotected against what you may be carrying. One of y’all is going to have to skip going to Church until you’re feeling better – it’s either you or everyone else, and since you’re probably better off on the couch, under your blankie, and sipping chicken soup anyway… please can it be you?
According to WebMD, you’ll know you’re no longer contagious with the flu when you’ve been fever free for more than 24 hours without taking fever-reducing medication.