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Saturday, May 2, 2009

Porcine paranoia

Swine Flu Pictures, Images and Photos

I'm trying not to get all freaked out about this swine flu business, but I have to say I'm losing my own fight.

Earlier in the week, I reminded my kids that the best way we can avoid the swine flu is to wash, wash, wash our hands. I work in a building with a community health center on the first floor and welfare offices on the second floor, so I've been taking the stairs to my third floor office when I can and washing my hands ASAP on the occasions I've ridden the elevator.

But yesterday, they announced that two elementary schools here will be closed for at least a week due to confirmed cases of swine flu. Then I started to get a little more nervous. I have friends whose kids go to one of the schools. It's in the same township as my own kids' school.

Tonight at church, Fr. Scott announced that we would not be holding hands during the Our Father and would be exchanging verbal greetings, not handshakes, at the sign of peace. I looked around and was suddenly glad that we'd chosen to go to 5:30pm Mass -- not only because we get to sleep in, but because fewer people attend that Mass than the Sunday morning services.

When it was time for Communion, all the communion distributors came out from behind the sanctuary obviously rubbing hand sanitizer into their hands. Maybe they've always done that, but tonight I noticed it. Then I leaned over to my kids and told them not to take the wine. I thought it might be paranoia, but when I saw at least two church members who are doctors skip the wine too, I felt vindicated. Frankly, I'm surprised that they still offered the wine at communion.

I'd already promised the kids we would have Fazoli's for dinner after church. But all the talk (and thought) about pandemic at church made me a little hesitant. Still, it was already almost 7pm and we were all hungry. So I compromised and did the Fazoli's drive-thru. That way we could at least avoid the germs that might be lurking on the tables, booths and the self-service pop machines.

I haven't bought face masks (no need to -- I have them left over from the post-911 emergency kit) and I'm not barricading the kids in the house (yet), but I am trying to be prudent.

Anyone else got swine flu on the brain?


Anonymous said...

One of my sons missed school yesterday and the school nurse called for a grilling session. I was not offended I was grateful that they are doing what they can to keep it out of the schools.

Annie said...

I think it is good to be aware. Hand washing is a good thing. Avoiding the chalice at Mass with this going around is a good thing. Avoiding confined areas like elevators is good, plus you're getting a little exercise by taking the stairs. :) We went errand running this evening and I made my husband wash his hands as soon as we walked into the house. I used hand sanitizer on myself and our son. It is just good practice to be doing these things anyway, but even more so right now!

Eternal Lizdom said...

I'm concerned but not freaking out. Haven't really changed our routine at all... just more diligent about hand washing.

Mike Magan said...

Great post. If you don't find them in the 911 kit, check the SARS kit upstairs, the bird flue kit in the kitchen and the Y2k kit in the basement.

I'm actually trying to make a point here . . . The worst things we go through never actually happen. All this hand washing will probably save lives from the 12K that already die from the REGULAR flu.

Besides the more you hyperventilate, the more germs you spread!

Kris said...

I've got to tell you, I think its overblown, especially since the U.S. cases have been mild. I think lots of hand-washing/sanitizing is always a good thing. I wash my hands a lot. And, I took the chalice at mass tonight, though noticed a doc did not. Although, I've not noticed whether or not he normally takes the chalice.

Joanie said...

I sure hope most people don't avoid going to restaurants because of this swine flu scare. Otherwise, I won't be able to pay my bills and it's difficult to make them as it is now.