Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Sniffle, sniffle...achoo!

I feel sick just thinking about all the reports of impending flu season. The information coming from the media is not good. The World Health Organization believes that within the next 2 years over one third of the world population will have contracted the H1N1 flu.  As United States Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has stated, "What we know is, it's brand new and no one really has an immunity to this disease." Not good.

So besides washing your hands a ton and staying home if you are sick, what can you do to stop the spread of the  H1N1 (swine) flu? Well, in reality, not a lot.  The disease will spread, you will have contact with other humans, and you will be exposed most likely.  What you can do is be prepared.  Get a flu shot if recommended for your age and health situation. Make sure you get the correct number of shots, as they are currently unsure how many that will be. Also, be prepared to limit your contact with the outside world.

How exactly do you do that? Well, I am glad you asked. You can start by cutting down on trips to the grocery store. Yep, I said it, limit the trips to buy your favorite snacks.  Why, you might ask. Well, grocery stores are one of the few places people feel no guilt about going when they are sick.  They need to stock up on medication and food, so they go to the store. Now before you get all paranoid and move into your underground concrete bunker, remember that most of the people at the store are not sick, just hungry.

If you have food stored at home you will be able to greatly reduce your trips to the store.  This will save you time and limit your exposure.  Experts suggest everything from a 3 day supply of food, to one year. Personally, I try to store at least 3 months of food. Anything you do buy needs to be washed well.  I also suggest wiping down the handle of the shopping cart.  Many stores are providing wipes for your use.

You also need a plan.  What happens if you are sick? Do you know who will take care of you and your family? Do you have your medical information written down for use if you are sick and unable to explain it yourself?

The good news is that the southern hemisphere is coming out of winter right now.  They had no vaccine and the flu season, while heavy, was not as bad as expected.  The symptoms were not much worse than a regular flu and most people recovered just fine.  Either way, you and your family need to have a plan. Take the time to figure it out now, long before you hear the sniffles in your own home.

Today's question: What is your flu plan for this year?


  1. My flu plan... wash hands constantly, get flu shots for the whole family, update my Prepared Binder, and lots of chicken soup in the pantry!

  2. Good ideas one and all. May your flue exposure be minimal and may your health be outstanding!