Stress, anyone?

Seems the theater gods are having a bit of fun at the Fink’s expense.

We open five weeks from tomorrow, right? OK. We’re two weeks behind schedule because of my irritating, infuriating illness the week after the Super Bowl, and also because of several snow days in a row. That’s all right, I suppose, because I do always try to build an “emergency” week into the rehearsal schedule.

But this is stretching the limits of funny.

Two weeks ago: one cast member out with mono. Yesterday: another cast member’s mother calls — he has mono as well. Out for two weeks. I was told at rehearsal last night that another cast member’s girlfriend is exhibiting symptoms and has to be tested. I don’t want to complicate things with the extremely dangerous power of suggestion, so I’m keeping basically quiet about it at school.

This morning, in an effort to make sense of it and to prepare myself for what could lie ahead (and since I’ve been up since 3:17 a.m.), I did some light research on mononucleosis:

  1. The contagion is not airborne, but rather transferred by mouth. However, that can be tricky. Aside from the kissing issue, you can also have problems if you’ve taken a drink after someone, or shared a cookie, or even touched a door knob after the infected person coughed into his hand and used the door before you.
  2. People can have symptoms or not — which means you can be a carrier of the virus (called Epstein-Barr) and not know it. According to the CDC information on it, a true school-wide outbreak would be rare — although I wonder why they’d say this. Seems counter-intuitive to me. Am I missing something?
  3. The jury is apparently out on the issue of exactly how long the contagious period lasts. Some say days; others say weeks and months. Therein lies the problem…

Years ago, Mavis was out of school for a month with it. It means business, and you can’t get back to your life too soon without having a relapse, which is what is happening with the boy who contracted it first. I wonder how my friend Bando is doing with her show and sickness. B, if you’re reading this — how goes Godspell? Any problems outside the “normal” range? (Heh heh.)

Regardless, this thing is a deal breaker; a potential production killer.

Hey, I know — I should buy a bunch of these. Pass ’em out in choir.

Fink out (gee, I’m not feeling like myself…I’m really exhausted…my throat hurts…)


15 thoughts on “Mono-nuke-your-showsis

  1. Bando

    My dear Fink,

    Of course I’m reading this — it’s my last bit of morning fun before the day’s drudgery…

    Godspell hasn’t yet had the plague, other than Jesus not being able to speak or sing for two weeks from some viral issue that’s over now. Of course, there’s the thing of me slowly going insane, but that’s not contagious.

    Most of my “out of normal range” problems are not fit for public consumption, and we’ve gone incident free for almost a week. Kinda like a nuclear power plant – I should get a sign to count the days. I think I may have to reset the number after tonight, though. :-)

    1. Rat Fink Post author


      At least you’re hanging in there, luv! (And my two victims are George and Paul…nice, eh?)

      I hope to get another one of your priceless, hilarious emails soon, complete with play-by-play.

      Hasta luego! (haahaaaa)

      1. Bando

        Hasta luego?!?

        Je ne veux pas parler espagnol, jamais.

        I’ll try to get some new material for a hilarious e-mail in the works. Having multiple hours of rehearsal tonight, there’s got to be something to tell by tomorrow.

  2. Suzanne

    Ack! I remember my Dad (HS band director) agonizing over his lead trumpet player being out with mono. That lead trumpet player would be me btw LOL Fink, I know you and your crew will pull it all together!

    1. Rat Fink Post author

      Thanks, Suzi…I can totally identify with how your dad felt! I’m certain that he knew the kids would come through without you, but I can also feel his horror…sheesh. Shoot me now!

  3. Greg

    There are some other illnesses which exhibit the same conditions as mono. The only real way to tell is by a mono-specific blood test. I had it when I was 35 years old and out of school for three weeks and I didn’t get it by mouth contact–I’m sure I’d have remembered that! I think the only reason I was out of school for so long is because of my age at the time, liver function was abnormal and my spleen was tender.

    1. Rat Fink Post author

      Yep Greggy, you might have gotten it like I said in #1 — from a doorknob, touching a table surface, anything. And you were 35 — that’s about the ceiling age the CDC listed for being susceptible. Three weeks off school for a student is somewhat fun; as a teacher, it would bite bigtime.

  4. PKPudlin

    (There’s a lot of that going around.)

    My Renaissance group is having the same run of luck – one of our Altos quit due to over-booking, the other one is pregnant out to here and is due 3 weeks after the concert. One of the tenors has a sick mom in Florida, whom he goes down to see and check on, and the other one is doing the single-parent thing. The other soprano has a husband who needs a sitter due to a progressive brain disease. That leaves me and the 2 basses. We’ve had 6 rehearsals and I think we’ve only had a full compliment once.

    No mono, but issues on issues on issues.

    PK, looking for a marker to color in the bald spots.

    1. Rat Fink Post author

      Ack, that is horrible! You feel my pain for sure…and you’re working with professionals. Good luck, PK — I can tell you that I absolutely know what it’s like to look a gig in the face unprepared. Ugh.

  5. Lawrence of Macadamia

    I was telling Mono-child #1 over break that nothing good would come from kissing George on the mouth. See how things are now! They’ve got no spleens!

  6. Stein

    HA! I told you someone would poke fun at the idea of George catching Paul’s illness. If Mono is communicable through the mouth, wouldn’t that make it communicable through bodily fluids? If so, could the production of sweat be a factor? How about nasal activity via sneezing and the like? It’s hard to imagine that it is rare to have a school-wide outbreak of the illness. Let’s just be hypothetical here…. Little Johnny goes to school with a sore throat. Johnny ends up having mono and is out for a long while. Before it had been diagnosed Johnny used the drinking fountain and sneezed while working at a computer. Suzie, Billy, and Jimmy all drank at the same drinking fountain/sea of backwash. Jane, Henry, and Bobby all used the same computer that day AFTER he had used it. Poof, 6 more carriers. This is the tip of the iceburg…

    1. Rat Fink Post author

      Yeah, and if you knew who it was, you’d really laugh!

      I hear ya, and I agree totally (see #1). Jake R. didn’t make it past 2nd period today…exhausted and sick…went home. Nice.


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