All this talk about swine flu and fear that it will burst into a global pandemic has me a little nervous. I’m reviewing my options to stay healthy.
Everyone seems to agree the best thing we can do for ourselves is to beef up the hand washing – that’s what Mother said way back before the term pandemic was coined. For the life of me I can’t remember the song I was taught to sing while washing up. Was it “Happy Birthday” or “Twinkle, twinkle, Little Star.” If anyone knows, please let me know.
Get paper towels ready before you start washing, especially if this means using a crank or lever to dispense them. Use it to open the door to leave the restroom. If there’s no trash can, throw it on the floor. In a day or two, someone will make sure a trash can is placed OUTSIDE the door.
If you’re in a bathroom where there are no paper towels…well, you’re up a creek without a paddle. Leave the water running (or, if you’re flexible like me, use your elbow to turn it off) and wait for someone else to open the door.
Having said that, life is busy and access to soap and water isn’t always around. An alternative to hand washing is using a hand sanitizer. There are alcohol and non-alcohol hand sanitizers. Both effectively kill 99.9% of germs within 15 seconds, but non-alcohol hand sanitizers are gentle, non-toxic, non-flammable and safe for your whole family. Alcohol-based sanitizers dry your skin, creating small cracks & crevices – perfect hiding spots for nasty disease-causing bacteria!
It never hurts to think about what you would do if swine flu hits your community hard, says a spokesman for the CDC. That may mean that schools would be closed, as has been done in Mexico.
The federal government’s pandemic flu website has suggestions on getting ready at home and at work. One example: Do you have enough food in the house to feed your family if you had to stay home for a week? (I would ordinarily, but recently learned they’ve all expired.) But I have enough Hershey Bars for two months.