Anyone who can breathe has heard about the swine flu and the "impending pandemic." The country seems to be in a panic over something so tiny that no one can see it with the naked eye, yet has the potential to kill. The news seems to have very little else to talk about other than the latest update of how many affected and how to protect ourselves. They make you want to run to your bed and hide under the covers (oh, wait, I want to do that anyway....). But, that is how they get ratings.
I have not been even a little worried about this problem. I do feel really bad for the people of Mexico and those in America who have been affected by it. I can't imagine how scary it is in areas that have been so strongly affected- I would probably feel the same if I were there. Here in Ohio, there has been ONE confirmed case. Just one. 3 probable and a few dozen suspected (though the CDC ruled out something like 70 already just in Ohio- people with the sniffles who panicked). The one who has become sick was a 9 year old boy. His entire school shut down for a week. The superintendent of our district has already been on TV with their plans to shut down, should it strike. Ok... Really? (For one, we have already used more than our calamity days and have to make up days- my kids don't want to be in school until July....)
The annual influenza that makes it rounds every year kills thousands, yet we rarely hear about it. Maybe because we do have access to a flu vaccine to help prevent it where as with the "swine flu" we do not. Still, it is usually the otherwise sick, elderly or young who have trouble weathering the standard influenza. Though the swine flu is a stronger virus, I suspect it is the same-those with normal immune systems will likely recover okay after feeling crappy for a while. It has been mild in America, I believe, partially because of more sanitary health conditions and stronger immune systems. I could be wrong- maybe Armageddon will strike in the form of the swine flu and prove me wrong- but I doubt it.
All of that being said, one of the "probable" cases in Ohio is an employee (a doctor) at the OSU Hospital. When they said that on the news, it did get my attention- my mom and my sister, Julie both work there. Julie got an urgent call from her supervisor yesterday telling her the person affected is a man who she works very closely with. She would need to watch for symptoms. It occurred to me that right there was actually a direct link from the virus to my home. Let's say it ends up being a confirmed case in this man. Say maybe he sneezed on Julie and she gets it. My kids adore her and see her often and climb all over her and she spreads it to them. Makes it feel a little more like hitting home. Plus, Julie has asthma and we suspect Ellie may, which could make even a mild flu serious. Still, I am not worried. Really, how often to we sneeze on, cough on or kiss our coworkers? (Julie is happily married...) And, unless she does become sick, I will certainly not limit my kids exposure to her- she is just too darn good of an aunt. So, we will take our chances and go on with life and continue to roll our eyes at the doom and gloom news while praying for those affected.
However, should anyone around here start oinking anytime soon.....
**UPDATE**As of Sunday 5/3- there are a total of 3 confirmed cases in Ohio- including the doctor my sister works with. But, if she had gotten it, she would have had symptoms by now. I am still not ready to join the panic. :)
15 hours ago