Thursday 29th November 1990 Morning coffee break 12.22
“I don’t know why we don’t give school children the flu vaccine,” my Dad said angrily. “That’s where it starts, in school. I have just seen Nathan Preston and I can guarantee he’s got the flu.”
“He’s our first case, this year then.” Dr Lewis looked up apprehensively.
“Nathan’s going to give it to all his friends,” my Dad continued brusquely, “and, of course, he’ll give it to his parents. His friends will give it to their friends and their parents. Nathan’s Dad will give it to his colleagues in work and his mates in the Pub. Nathan’s Mum will give it to her colleagues in Tesco’s and the members of the ladies’ luncheon club. One way or another, the grandparents will get it. Of course, the teachers will catch it from the children. They will pass it around in the staff room. I suppose Mrs Blunt, the dinner lady, will catch it and Mrs Burns, the lollipop lady. They’ll spread it around at Bingo: everyone wins tonight! Before you know it, we’ll have the 1990 influenza epidemic! It will be on the news and in the papers. If the journalists do their homework properly, little Nathan will be on the front page.”
“Come on, Dennis, you can’t blame Nathan. That’s not fair!”
“Listen, Lois! It’s the same every year. It always starts with a child! If someone had given Nathan Preston the flu jab, it wouldn’t have happened. We could all sit here, enjoy our coffee and not worry about being bombarded with patients next week.”