Friday, May 1, 2009

The Swine Flu--A Recovering Germaphob's Take

A couple of years back, I was horrified of germs. Really horrified. You can read all about my experience with Dr. Phil and my fear of germs here. It's something I have worked very hard to conquer, and I feel I have been doing really well.

And then along comes the swine flu. If this was a few years ago, I am almost certain I would be keeping the kids home from school. Washing hands. Taking a lot of vitamin C and fish oil. And of course be stressed out of my mind.

But I am not. Even living right next to Mexico and being next to a school district that has completely closed for the next week because of a confirmed case. I am not too worried.

First and foremost, stress can weaken your immune system in the long term. Short term, it actually helps but anything over a few minutes and the stress actually makes it harder for your body to fight illness. It is ironic thinking back to how much I would stress when I would see a very snotty child come up to me. My stress was more than likely more harmful than the kid!

Second, we are heading into the summer. Germs don't do well in the sunlight and for the most part I can't see us being anywhere than outside when we are in public. At least until it gets over 100 so I have at least a good month ;)

Finally, I think this is a bit overhyped. If you look at the facts: the mild cases the US has been seeing; the fact that it is very much like a seasonal flu; the way everyone is suddenly washing their hands (which they should always be doing anyway--hand washing is an appropriate thing to always do). I'm just not that concerned.

Now I will be honest. If I see someone who looks sick, I'll steer my kids another direction. I will not be dropping them off in the gym daycare for a while. I am giving everyone in the family a glass or two of Emergence-C. And I am buying more non-perishable groceries and making larger meals to freeze in case we do get sick and can't leave the house or there are mass closings. I want to have a back up plan just in case. 

I am betting it will not be as bad as it is being played in the media. I could be wrong so I am taking those little precautions I mentioned above. But one thing I know for sure, it will not come to this: 


Amanda said...

I don't like the way the media has blown this all out of proportion ~ don't get me wrong, Swine Flu is a big deal and scary stuff, but thousands of people die each year from the flu and this is no different.
You are right though ~ it's the summer coming up and in Scotland when the weather gets nice we all go outside and spend less time cooped up with each other breathing up germs.

You all stay well!
Amanda x
(sounds like you have come a long way to recovery from your phobia!)

mah-meeee said...

oh i totally hear ya. my day care lady is totally one of those people that freak out over every little media-influenced-news.

hey... speaking of which, which brand of fish oil do you give your kids?

Susan said...

I'm trying not to get too freaked out about it also...

Anonymous said...

Cracks me up that you included Monty Python at the end of this! LOL.

My husband and I are a little upset at how the media has played out the swine flu! It's not some flesh eating bacteria or something to REALLY stress about... but it's all over the place and freaking people out.

It just amazes me. I keep thinking back to before we were all plugged in to all the electronics... when we'd only turn the television on to watch a specific show... and think, maybe back then, at least, ignorance was bliss!