Don’t belittle Bob Costas and his eye infection. In my world of stay-at-home-moms and preschool and grade-school teachers, pinkeye is the equivalent of leprosy.
Yesterday, I was shunned. I was asked to step outside a classroom. I was thanked for staying a playground-length away from a baby. My husband’s coworker followed him around with a can of Lysol.
I was waiting for the horse and cart to come take me away to my pinkeye colony.
Yes, pinkeye is highly contagious. But it’s not airborne. I would have to touch my eye and then touch something and then have someone else touch that thing and then touch their eye to spread it. I’m wearing my glasses, too, which provide a natural barrier for when my hand wants, of its own volition, to go see my eye.
Trust me, I’m not touching my eye. It freaks me out just as much as it freaks you out. If I want to wipe it, I use a cotton ball and then dispose of the hazardous waste immediately. I have sprayed down doorknobs just in case. I’m using hand sanitizer like it’s aloe vera. You ain’t gettin’ this stuff from me!
I can understand how people in my demographic would be scared. Pinkeye can go through a classroom like wildfire. If an infected kid comes to class of COURSE they are going to be rubbing their eye and then handling everything within a 40-yard radius.
I believe that it is a documented fact that as soon as a kid is contagious with something, that’s the time she’s going to start practicing sharing toys. I think it’s the survival instinct of the bacteria/virus taking over the brain of the host organism in order to help them spread, spread, spread!!!
The worst part about pinkeye isn’t being a social outcast for three to five days. Nope. It’s having to throw out all of my eye makeup and assorted makeup tools. Sigh. There goes my new mascara. Out with the eyeliner and eyeshadow duo. S’long eyelash curler; I think I’ll miss you the most. Luckily Clinique bonus time is in a couple of weeks.
So, okay maybe throwing out my eye make-up isn’t the worst thing. But it is annoying.
This whole thing made me remember a pinkeye scare from when I was a kid. Someone from my school called Mom and warned her that pinkeye was going around. I remember her getting off of the phone and coming to check my eyes. I asked what was wrong. “Pinkeye is going around,” she said.
This conjured up an image of a ghostly eye of a pinkish cast floating down the street looking for some unsuspecting kid to land on while parents locked their doors and shut their blinds. When my doctor diagnosed me on Monday I felt like a target on a video game–my eye flashed yellow, then white, then a glowing pink while the Ghostly Pink Eye played her video game, laughed and collected bonus points.
I can only hope my kids won’t give the G.P.E. the high score.
Milaka Falk is a wife and a mom to 13-year-old girl and 10-year-old boy. It’s never dull. She blogs about life and movies at Cabin77.