Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Winter colds, Russian style

Normally I am pretty Polyanna about our posting here. So many things about Petersburg and Russia suit our temperaments and preferences. In general we're happy.

But, I was reminded recently of what I dislike about the culture here. See, when a Russian child sneezes or coughs, he or she is then kept home for 2-4 weeks, regardless of whether the child has any actual illness (Americans don't consider a cold an actual illness). Or if the child sneezes or coughs a second time.

Alex had the bare outlines of a cold last week. She coughed all week, no other symptoms. I humored her teacher and brought her to the doctor, who saw a bit of nasal drainage that she supposed must be causing the cough because she couldn't find anything else, but absolutely nothing outside the parameters of "It's a cold". She be prescribed/recommended an OTC cough suppressant, which I dutifully brought to school so they could give her the mid-day dose and hopefully keep her cough from bothering other kids during naptime.

Well, Friday I got reamed out by one of the other kids' grandmas for bringing Alex to school. For a Murther Furkin COLD. She doesn't have a runny nose, sneezing, headache, sore throat. No fever, no congestion. Not a damn thing except a pesky cough. Alex also reported that other kids were coughing, admittedly not as bad as her, earlier this week - meaning she wasn't the carrier (She started coughing Sunday, and I had kept her home Monday because I had to keep Zoltan home - he had a bacterial infection and hadn't gotten through enough antibiotics for me to feel good about sending him in, even though he looked and acted the picture of health).

We had a long weekend for a Russian holiday so today was the first day back at school. When I dropped her off the teacher asked how she was doing, I said fine, and she said that's good because the other parents were ready to strangle me. Grrrrrr.

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