(sung to the tune of Kung Fu Fighting)
Everybody was Swine-Flu Fighting (hee-YA!)
A vi-rus were fast as lightning (hee-YA!)
In fact it was a little bit frightening
But they fought back that flu thing...
OK, so I won't be the next Weird Al Yankovic.
It's hard to believe that it has been only one week -- seven days -- since the news about the swine flu outbreak in Mexico grabbed my attention. I don't even remember now how I first learned about it, I think it was supper-hour news on TV.
It didn't take long to jump right back into my obsessive following of any and all news related to swine flu, using all of my old flubie resources (a "flubie" is a term used by us obsessive potential flu pandemic trackers to refer to ourselves, another term is "prepper", as in preparing for self-quarantine in case of a severe flu wave). Most of the old blogs and news sites and discussion forums from my bird flu panic days were stil up and operating, swifting changing topic to swine flu.
In some ways, being so plugged in is not healthy. We flubies tend to go overboard with the worst-case scenario coverage and how to prepare for it (3 months of pantry supplies to get you through a 12-week wave of pandemic influenza! Drop everything and go shopping for rice and beans!!). We also tend to alarm ourselves with stories posted from various new sources of varying quality and accuracy. (Does anyone know how to translate from Bahasa Indonesian into English?!?? This article talks about 1,000 ill... or is that 100? I think this word translates as "pandemic"!!) Sometimes I swear we et ourselves worked into such a fever pitch that we expect the imminent extinction of the human race.
But the opposite tack is just as unhealthy. Not giving some thought as to how YOU would get through a flu pandemic is just as foolhardy as going overboard on the subject. Although it appears more and more likely that this H1N1 flu virus currently making the rounds is a mild version of the disease that does not spread very quickly among people, it must be said that the influenza virus can mutate regulary. Each mutation could make the virus more or less transmissable, or make it more or less deadly. My personal fear is that when this strain of H1N1 swine flu reaches Southeast Asia, it will mix with isolated cases of the much deadlier H5N1 bird flu virus and the resulting offspring will wreak havoc.
Deeep breath. Deeeeep breath. Calm.
You see? SOmetimes I do wonder if ignorance is bliss on this subject. Of course it's even worse now with the advent of Twitter. I've found myself fervently following the #h1n1, #swineflu, and #pandemic Twitter tags, along with the latest solemn pronouncements from the CDC and WHO, and by mid-afternoon I'm a basket case again.
So I push it away and try to focus on my work, only to find myself coming back for another peek. (Oooh...a probable case in Minnesota? Where is that on Google Maps? How close is it to me?)