Well, this is highly inconvenient.
I show up at the hospital with my oldest son, to trade places with my wife for the night. I go to enter the hospital, and a security guard stops me. "He can't go in," he says, indicating my son. "The hospital is on lockdown. Parents only, no siblings."
"When did this start?"
"About an hour ago."
Apparently, because of the swine flu, they are closing down access to the hospital to necessary personnel only, and that means only parents, no siblings or other visitors.
I call my wife, who is up there with my middle son (the patient) and our youngest son (the terror that flaps in the night). She hadn't heard about the lockdown yet. I told her she needs to meet us downstairs to do the swap.
As I'm waiting, I realize just how inconvenient this is going to be. When my wife comes to relieve me in the morning, she will be unable to bring the toddler with her. And because I have to work, that means he'll need somewhere to stay pretty much all day. So I talk to the security guard to ask about the nature of the lockdown and how long it'll last. The security guard, after assuring me that there is no instance of flu at this hospital, says they don't know how long. Could be a couple of days, could be a week, could be a month.
My wife calls me soon after. She of course had the same thought, and she was talking with the charge nurse to discuss our options. (The security guard also suggested I could try talking to the charge nurse for the same reason.) Apparently, in talking with the nurses inside the hospital, she learned there was a case of swine flu detected in the hospital. It wouldn't surprise me if the security guards at the entrance were told (or instructed to tell people) there wasn't, but it also wouldn't surprise me if the "fact" that there was wasn't just a rumor that was going around the nurses' stations.
My son (the patient) had just been coming down with a cough and congestion. Wouldn't it be just our luck if it was him who had come down with the swine flu, on top of whatever else had brought him there in the first place? My mother had, after all, just come back from a trip to Mexico before she came to spend a weekend in the hospital with my son.