I'm gonna use it. The "F" word -- the three letter one, that is. The FLU. There, I said it out loud. This H1N1 flu stuff is starting to scare the bejeezus out of me.
Earlier this week, a friend of a friend of my sister's passed away from complications of H1N1. She was in her late 20s, had a 9-month old baby. Then last night, I came across the Cheaper Than Therapy blog, where a mother is chronicling the story of her adult son's fight against this. And this morning my mom told me that someone I grew up with has been in ICU on a ventilator for three weeks with it.
I got my kids and myself the regular flu shot, but I was going to pass on the H1N1 vaccine. Too new, too untested, I told myself. But the more I hear about this, the more anxious I am about it. I keep checking our county health department site to find out when and where we can get the vaccine.
I sat my kids down this morning and gave them all a lecture about washing hands and covering coughs. I'm considering instituting a ban on sleepovers because those all nighters don't really do anything to help their immune systems.
The building where I work has a community health clinic on the first floor and WIC offices on the second floor. For the past 5 weeks, I've taken the stairs to my third floor office (no touching the handrails!) because I'm sure that there are fewer germs in the stairwell than on the elevator. Then I hit the hand sanitizer as soon as I get to my office to get rid of whatever germs might have been lurking in the stairway.
And the thought of germs on Halloween candy that gets handed out tonight? I think I just have to say a prayer about that because that just might push me over the edge.
I'm trying to temper my anxiety with the knowledge that we know several people who've had it who, while being really miserable for several days, have not had severe complications.
Are you concerned? If it's available, will you get the vaccine for yourself and/or your kids? Do you think giving the teachers decorator bottles of hand sanitizer for Christmas is a little over the top?