Friday, March 14, 2008

Food Poisoning Outbreak.....On Tour!!!!

Well, we (the university wind ensemble, aka W.E.) returned from our concert tour to PA, NJ, NY (Niagara Falls area), NYC, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. this past week. It was a great tour......lots of good concerts at churches, nice people, nice host homes, and fun sight-seeing in NYC. It was also wonderful to see several former students who I dearly love. I don't get to see them enough because of distance. But I think the most memorable event of our tour was the bus trip home following our final performance in Washington, D.C.

We had just eaten lunch and prior to our loading the bus, one of the students got sick. We are thinking....Ok, we'll give her the time she needs in the bathroom. So she gets on the bus (she's a trooper) and we start the trip home. Soon, we get word in the front of the bus (this is where we directors sit) that another student just 'got sick.' We pass back a trash bag and paper towels.....and don't really think TOO much about it. About 5 minutes later, another student 'gets sick.' The other director and I look at each other wondering what's going on. Soon we start passing back trash bags so that students have something to 'get sick' in. Not a pretty sight.....and frankly, I was glad that my seat wasn't in the back of the bus. After a couple of hours there were at least 12 students who were sick. No doubt, we made several stops along to the way. By the time that we decided to surrender and find a motel for everyone (an unplanned stop for our 12-hour drive) there were 28 W.E. members that were sick. What else could it be but food poisoning? The other director and I didn't feel very well, but we didn't suffer the violent sickness that many of the kids did. As I write this comfortably from my home computer, a total of 31 out of 54 people have confirmed sickness.

During this siege, I was wondering to myself how I will deal with Caroline's physical 'manifestations' of illness. I don't do well when I see others that are sick. (On a side note, I handle other student 'issues' very well - I like it when students come to me with their problems....I'm a good listener and I do my best to counsel.) I don't deal with my mom's illness very well, but I do what I have to do. Trust me....on this trip I didn't run to the back of the bus to see how I could help....I was afraid I would get sick just seeing others sick. But I guess I'll develop an iron stomach when Caroline needs me. I do it now for my Mom, so I'll do it for Caroline. This whole experience just got me thinking.

Ah, tour memories!!!!

1 comment:

Dale Argot said...

Ah, the joys of getting sick on the bus. While I never toured with the Chorale or WE, I did tour with The Continental Singers back in 86 -- long before my IWU days. While we never experience what you and WE did, I did end up sick one day in the middle of Canada -- not a very fun time. Thanks for sharing.

By the way, as a parent myself, we do find the strength to take care of these things when it is our own child. Great story and followup thought.