Really, when you consider it dispassionately, it’s true; the caregiver shouldn’t themselves become the patient. Nine times out of ten, they have no one to take care of them and have to suffer through the daily slog, no time off for good behavior, no relief in sight.
The chances of not catching whatever the family brings home are fairly small. Tissues are everywhere, all the surfaces are covered in germs no matter how much disinfectant is liberally applied, and it’s inevitable that some of the nasty little bugs will break through our defenses. Megadoses of Vitamin C? Drinking lots of fluids? Getting lots of rest? Unfortunately it’s a parents lot in life to put themselves last on the list, especially if they have been waiting on a miserable, restless, uncomfortable, bored chick for a day or more. None of us wants to see our children suffer, so we do what we can to relieve it in whatever way works.
Today I’m just waiting. My youngest daughter has been fighting a nasty cold for the majority of the week and was home from school for two days, just feeling horrible. In her defense, she is a rather undemanding patient, but the germs are lurking. I can feel them just waiting for a chink in my armor. If I slow down even a bit, I’ll crank to a halt and the germs will get me. Then I’ll just go about my regular day, dripping and sneezing, scratchy-throated and coughing.