Well, I'm back a day or so early from vacay.
It turns out my brother has H1N1 (aka Swine Flu). My parents started getting symptoms yesterday. Thankfully it's a mild-ish case for all three.
This leaves me as the sole Healthy!Marcs in the family. This also means I've now been exposed. Joy. No symptoms yet, so that's something.
BlueCross basically told me to do the following:
1) Inform my place of employment so if I do develop symptoms over the next four days, they won't think I'm eeking out extra vacation time. Also, it gives them time to decide whether they'd prefer me working from home next week to make double sure that I'm not contagious.
2) Don't overdo it for the next few days. Take it easy and pay attention to my body/health and take immediate action if I get symptoms.
The good news is I don't have to quarantine my sorry ass. It's so widespread in Massachusetts that everyone's been pretty much exposed whether they know it or not. Public health officials have pretty much thrown up their hands and decided that it's better to "spread the love" (so to speak) in this first wave of infection so when it boomerangs back on us in the winter (as these viruses tend to do), more people will have immunity.
In short: better to get normal flu-level sick now to spare yourself deadly ill 6 months from now.
I'm not panicking, but damn this is not a good thing to find out. I'm kind of torn between "get sick and get it over with" and "oh HELL no." Since I'm not immunocompromised, I'm leaning towards "get sick and get it over with."
In the meantime, here's a picture preview of a puffin which I snapped with my trusty Canon. And yes, it really was that close.