Like almost everyone I know, we've got colds. Sophie's had a mild cough for a week now, along with some occasional complaints of a tummy ache, and I've had a full-blown miserable head cold for almost as long... the delight of clogged sinuses and popping ears. Chris seems to have escaped it (knock on wood) so at least one of us is able to function at 100%. Being sick feels different this time though, because you can't turn on the television or look at a newspaper without the phrase "H1N1 Pandemic" blazing before your eyes. A thirteen year old boy died this week after being well enough to travel to London for a hockey tournament. A preteen died suddenly in Ottawa and a fifteen-year-old in Timmins. That it seems to be hitting kids the hardest can't help but put a parent on edge... you have a simple head cold and suddenly you feel the need to check your temperature four times a day; your child reports they're not feeling well and you find yourself hovering, checking on them in the middle of the night just to be sure they're okay. It brought be back actually, reminding me of how I used to check Sophie when she first came home from the hospital, four or five times a night, just to be sure she was still breathing. I'm clearly not alone, because we ran Sophie up to the Children's After Hours Clinic this evening just to have her lungs checked to make sure her simple cough was indeed just a simple cough, and despite having arrived 15 minutes before the clinic was set to open there were still enough people in front of us to put us at an hour and a half wait to be seen. We decided to keep Sophie outside until literally the moment her name was called to prevent the sharing of any illnesses that were wafting around the packed-to-the-rafters waiting room, and scooted out of there as quickly as our legs could carry us after getting the "all clear" on Sophie's lungs. I have the feeling that the medical community is about to be run off their feet, be it by patients with genuine flu-related symptoms or visits prompted by the sense of unease and worry that general public is feeling right now.