Strep and Scabies: the Downsides of Sharing Everything

About two years ago a member here discovered co had some distinctive looking red bites in a suspect location on cos body.  A couple other members came forth with the same testimony, and voila – a tri-community crisis was born.

Last time around, a member commemorated the ordeal with buttons

Last time around, a member commemorated the ordeal with buttons

Scabies! Supposedly the little bastards can live on any fabric or upholstery or carpet for up to a week, laying eggs and waiting for a poor innocent human to jump on.  They’ll die if you don’t use the fabric or upholstery or carpet for more than a week; they need a human host.  But if any human has unknowingly gotten some scabies jumping on them, and then goes and sits on a couch or whatever, the bugs can go around and around that way.  Forever.

When the health team made the decision to view the situation as an all out emergency, there was a lot of grumbling, but in the end almost everyone cooperated with Operation: Scabies Eradication.  The holdouts included two pregnant women who didn’t want to smear toxic medicine all over themselves and one other member who opted to live in isolation for two weeks.  The pregnant women sat on wooden chairs for two weeks (or maybe it was six?).  I mean, they got up and walked around and stuff.  But in public places they did not sully the upholstery with their uncleanliness.

The protocol was something like this:

-Choose your outfits for the week, then quarantine the rest of your clothes by taping your drawers or closet shut

-Put all of your bedding you’re planning to use in trash bags to be taken to the laundromat (100 people’s bedding, washed in one day, took a team, but they did it.)

-Vacuum all your upholstered surfaces

-Smear on permethrin, leave it on for awhile, then shower it off

-Vacuum everything again

-More vacuuming

-A week later, more permethrin to kill any scabies that might have hatched in the last week

-Probably still more vacuuming

-…And, done!

Now, for a change in subject.  Two weeks ago several members of my extended family came for a visit.  My sister and one of her kids had strep right before coming here, but they went on antibiotics, doused everything with lysol, and were better before getting on the plane.*  The visit was great, and it was only on the day that everyone was being driven to the airport that my four-year-old daughter reported her throat “felt clogged” and it that it hurt to swallow.

Ugh.  Ok.  I brought her to the doctor the next day and she was positively ID’d with strep in like five minutes.  She acted fine the whole time she had it, and said she felt all better in about 5 days.  But lo and behold, yesterday morning, who feels sick but yours truly.  My daughter was spared the stupid fever that can go along with strep, but not me.  I spent all day yesterday watching Twilight movies and thrashing around in bed, sometimes eating popsicles.

And then, right around dinnertime came the report about a member who’d been diagnosed with scabies.  At the moment, feeling sick is preventing me from feeling extremely overwhelmed about the prospect of all the effing vacuuming I’m going to have to do, not to mention trying to explain to my daughter why she can only have a fraction of her grotesquely huge wardobe to choose from for the next week.  I’m mostly looking forward to all the cool and smooth foods I TOR’ed this morning to come back with the trip at noon, and feeling bad for not indexing, painting my house, going down to the hammocks desk, or making rope, all the things I was supposed to do yesterday and today.

So, back to rooting forlornly for Team Jacob.

*ETA: According to pretty much all medical sources about strep, there’s no way my sister or her family could have still been contagious when they got here.  There is a high chance my daughter and I actually caught it from another, unknown source.