Monday, May 4, 2009

The Whole Swine Flu thingy

So, our neighbor drives a school bus.  She came over yesterday after church to tell us that our high school was closed for two weeks due to possible, I'll repeat, possible, swine flu outbreak.  I am not making light of this situation, it is serious.  That being said, it's the flu and we do not live in a third world country.  It is tragic that a small child in our country has died from this, and it can be scary, but I have to wonder if we are going slightly overboard.  Over 35,000 people a year die from the flu, if the Today show is to be trusted.  As of this morning, there were 1001 cases of swine flue in the world.  Not our country, the world.

Yes is contagious.  Yes it can be fatal.  Yes, a bunch of high schoolers went to Mexico for Spring Break.  But wash your hands, use some sanitizer and be done with it.  I work with the public every day.  A young man I work with is seriously concerned about this, freaking out when someone coughs when paying for their latte.  So I told him to turn around and wash his hands.  He was two steps away from being rid of it.  I am keeping a small bottle of hand sanitizer at the cash registers, and I use it.  My sister-in-law works in the ER of a hospital, she was actually in a room with a possible swine flu patient.  She is not freaking out, she followed protocol and is fine, so is her family.  

I am not saying to not be cautious.  But we do need to realize that we live in a country where raw sewage is not running down our streets.  We don't have piles of garbage sitting for days.  We are blessed enough to probably not have to go through said garbage for our dinner or cans to pay for dinner.  Soap and hand sanitizer and doctors are readily available to us, so are medications and anything else we may need to combat the swine flu.  All cases, with the exception of one, have been mild in this country.

If I can avoid getting the stomach flu when I am catching puke in my hands, I think I can avoid this.  We are taking some precautions.  I tell my kids not to drink from the drinking fountains at school.  But I tell them that all the time to avoid getting strep throat.  We wash our hands when we get home from school, after we have been outside to play, all that jazz.  We use hand sanitizer when necessary.

I think we are very blessed that this comes at a time when we can open our windows and air out our houses.  So can the schools.  Utica High School is spending ten days sanitizing every locker, door knob, desk, etc.  That being said, the district shares buses between schools, so if any of those kids took the bus, we need to shut down those busses to kill it there too.  Amazing the man power that will go into this, not only here, but in the rest of the country.   I guess that is why I don't fear it, I think we are taking steps to prevent it and educate people and clean it the heck up.

Didn't our mothers say all these things?  Wash your hands, clean your room, cover your mouth.

I guess I am not completely sold that this is a pandemic of epic proportions.  In today's instant news society, maybe we are too informed.  I definitely am not fearful about it, at least not in a chaotic way.  Take precautions and wash your hands and bleach your house if need be.  Wash your sheets and air your house out.  

Am I wrong or not concerned enough?  Am I not reacting enough?  Am I alone in my almost casualness of this?  Are you and your family doing anything different?  Let me know.

God bless you and yours and wash your hands.


Baby Z's Mom said...

No, I'm in your boat. I don't think that the death in the States should count because that toddler actually resided in Mexico. Yes, it's tragic, but let's not get all crazy. Common sense and precautions go a long way.

apittman said...


This is really the most logical, thoughtful, encouraging, and just plain SMART commentary I've read throughout the course of this flu "thingy." Well done!! I want to see you live from your back yard on the TODAY show!

hiyahun said...

They are 30,000 Americans that die ANNUALLY from the flu, just plain ordinary flu. Yes I think this whole mess is horrible and yes I believe it could get bad since virisus can mutate, but lets not start the panic yet. I think the News and press are really creating more of a panic then is necessary, and being sensible adults and MOMs who have delt with every childhood illness out there so far, I think we can handle the flu and know when to take the panic route... And yes I think you have been very wise on your comments. Smart and blonde. Way to go!!...LOL