According to an article posted on MSNBC this morning, the health expert recommends that in order to slow the spread of the swine flu in the US, our best bet is to keep our children away from schools, playgrounds, and social gathering spots. If a case of the swine flu has been reported in your area, the recommendation is to cut your contact with people by 50%.
Unfortunately, there have been a handful of cases reported in the Dallas area in the past 48 hours. In a nearby school district, an elementary and daycare center has been closed for the remainder of the week due to reports of at least one confirmed case of the swine flu.
Although my city, neighborhood, and school district have not been directly affected, I am starting to consider what efforts I should be making to keep our family healthy. This weekend we have swim lessons at the indoor community pool. Should we cancel our lesson? We have a birthday party for a friend’s one year old little boy. Should we send our regrets and stay home? Sophia has asked for her friends to come over and swing on her play set. Should we stay away from our neighbors who have kids that go to public school and daycare?
Should I be taking protective measures to keep our family away from the spreading of germs, or am I simply spreading the panic by restricting our exposure to others? As one of the bloggers at Momformation put it… "I just want to know when to freak out".
My first reaction is to take no action, to continue our normal daily activities with no restrictions. However, my feelings may change during the course of this week as new cases of the outbreak are reported in the US, in Texas, and in communities close to my home. A quote the article I mentioned above is also supporting the belief that prevention is key…
“Even though cases in the U.S. remain isolated, experts in so-called “social distancing” strategies say such measures could reduce an outbreak of potentially deadly infections by at least half, but only if steps are taken early.”
So don’t be offended if the next time I see you I don’t shake your hand when I say hello. Don’t be offended if I stand the “recommended three to six feet” away to avoid physical contact. Don’t be offended if I decline an invitation to come to dinner at your home, or refuse to let our kids play together.
However, once this panic - I mean pandemic has passed, we will go back to the playground, parties and play dates. Have you made any, or do you plan to make changes in your social interactions due to the swine flu?