Yes, everyone is in a lather because of the swine flu. It seems that when it's flu season, it's just called "the flu", but when the flu hits in the off season, it gets a special name, and everyone panics.
I actually know a couple people who got the "swine flu", they stayed home, they followed doctor's orders, and now they are fine. No one panicked. No one died. This isn't the Black Plague.
Mom was telling me that her work rolled out a new policy regarding the swine flu. In a nutshell, it says if you are sick, stay home. If you come to work sick, you'll get in trouble.
But at her job, you don't come in, you still get in trouble. It's like that at a lot of places. Sure, they may puff out their chests, fluff their feathers, and make a big show at how you should think of your coworkers and not come to work, infecting them with your illness. However, you get sick and actually follow their "policy", I guarantee you that a write-up regarding your crappy attendance will be waiting on your desk when you return. Not to mention, in these hard economic times, people are scared of losing their jobs. Hell, there are people who have been waiting months on unemployment for your job to open up. Employers know this. You are easily replaceable.
And this fear, I think, is why the sickness spreads. Sick people will show up at the jobs they are terrified of losing, and before the end of the day, they have left their little microbes all over the office. The company can at least say, "Hey, we told them not to come in", absolving them of any guilt.
So, people, just be smart about the whole flu thing, and take your lead from medical professionals who are NOT PANICKING. Not the media who would have you convinced you should wrap your house in cling wrap and fill it with Dial soap and Isopropyl alcohol.
Wash your hands. When in doubt, wash your hands. Bored? Wash your hands. Nothing good on t.v? Wash those hands. Carry around hand sanitizer because there are some people out there who are allergic to soap and water. Or they belong to a religion that prohibits hand washing immediately after using the bathroom (ewww). Hand washing is the number one proven method for preventing illness. Nursing fundamental 101, and I have the rough, chapped, ugly hands to prove it.
And for godsakes, DON'T PANIC!!