Thursday, April 30, 2009

Swine Flu?

I've been hearing things here and there about this swine flu outbreak, not really thinking much about it. Just a story, something that's interesting, but not much to worry about. But now everyone's starting to freak out about it, and I wonder... should I be worried?

It's been an interesting revelation that I don't seem to be much of a worrier as a mother. I didn't really expect that. But then again I've watched my mom over-worry about things for as long as I remember, which led me to over time make a conscious effort to try to let things go and not worry about things I can't control. More specifically as a parent, I haven't worried much about bugs or germs at all, partially b/c Donovan has hardly ever had as much as a cold. It also helped that he was a thumb-sucker-- my attitudes about how dirty the floor is quickly changed when I realized I couldn't keep him from rubbing his thumb all over the ground while crawling, and then sticking it in his mouth every 5 seconds. Or even today, when we went grocery shopping and I put him in the cart-- remembering to wipe it off beforehand-- and then sprayed his hands with sanitizer afterwards, knowing full well that while in the store he reached out and touched a bunch of stuff then stuck that thumb back in his mouth.

And so now I'm wondering, do I need to be worrying about the swine flu? Is it really that big a deal, especially compared to how the regular flu kills on average about 36,000 americans every year? Or that it seems to respond well to flu medication? Then again, if the CDC is freaked out about it, maybe I should be, too.

For now, I'm focusing on remembering to wash/spray hand sanitizer on Donovan's and my hands more often, especially when out and about. I'm also keeping my eye on the Baby 411 blog, since they've been updating fairly regularly with news and alerts. EDIT: I also just read this article, which also helps me feel better.

So how are you dealing with the swine flu news? Are you taking precautions, or brushing it off?


  1. CDNSarah12:42 AM

    um, i'm a bit more concerned with the thousands of children who die each *day* from hunger. why doesn't the world media jump on that bandwagon with the same fervor instead of using fear to control our thoughts. in a nutshell, f*ck swine flu.

  2. I wasn't concerned until I saw on the news that there are cases near where I live. With being pregnant and having Eliza- who was so sick her first year of life...I do try to avoid siutaions where she could get sick. What worries me is how unpredictable the flu is and how it can mutate and get worse over time.

  3. I wasn't too concerned about it (even after just getting back from the states) but then i saw that they now have cases in Switzerland. AND then this happened on the train (where a vial of the virus exploded on a train close to lausanne):

    yikes!!! Being pregnant it makes me nervous as he** but I am trying not to think about it too much. I am just going to carry a lot of hand sanitizer around with me.

  4. I think the freak-out is all due to the media making such a huge deal of this. Like CDNSarah said, there are many more children dying of many other things, but we don't talk about it (how many people knew how many people/children died of the regular flu before this story hit?)

    I don't know how it is elsewhere in the world, but I think the reason why this is big news is because the flu came from Mexico -- look, yet another reason we need to keep the dirty Mexicans out of our precious, pristine country! How dare they come over here! Look what they're doing to us! RACIST PANIC!!

    We completely ignore the fact that the flu came from a US company ignoring health and sanitation standards near a small town in Mexico, even though the people in the town had complained repeatedly of the company's health violations... But are we calling it the Smithfield Foods flu? Nope, we want to call it the Mexican flu.

    The only reason I'm even remotely interested in this flu is because Fort Worth ISD (80 thousand students) closed down yesterday, until May 8. I'm waiting for my district to follow suit. (And no, they will not have to make up the time in June, the state will give FWISD a waiver for the missed days. I took a job at the wrong district.)

  5. Well, the symptoms and death rate are all extremely similar to normal flu. Now it is true that this season's flu vaccine will not be very effective against swine flu. And the fact that swine flu is now communicable to humans indicates that the virus is mutating (surprise? um no. more like duh). But really, in my opinion it's not anything to worry about. When someone who is otherwise healthy contracts swine flu, they likely have a week of coughing and sore throat ahead of them. And then they will be fine. So yeah. Big whoop.

  6. Just found you from Twitter!

    I'm in a state with no known cases, but in the next state over and not too far from here, a school district is closed.

    My only real concern is that it seems to be taking out young, thriving people. But, that seems to be primarily in Mexico, it isn't so severe in the states. I have a little one, so of course I worry about her, but overall, I'm keeping my worry over the swine flu at bay.

  7. I'm voting for more meh. It's the latest media panic because panics drive eyeballs and eyeballs drive advertisers and advertisers pay the bills. If you get sick - it's likely to *not* be the Smithville Foods virus.

    Re: Chris - no kidding - ZOMG RACIST PANIC; aren't we glad we built that fence to keep them out.

  8. jessica12:37 PM

    i overheard a nurse-doctor meeting while waiting to pee at the OBGYN last week and the ywere actually creacking jokes about how the Antibacterial Corporations started this press about it. they were saying that it is being majorly overdramatized and that it's only going to really harm people who have an already very weak immune system. i asked my doc specifically and she said just use your common sense, it isn't that different from any other flu



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