I'm Nerved Up About Swine Flu

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I am normally not a germaphobe - ask anyone who knows me - I have consistently let my kid eat stuff that's fallen on the floor (within limits, I mean, not on the T or anything - at home, mostly) and while I encourage hand-washing, I only pack Purell or some other alcohol-based hand sanitizer because sometimes when we're out and about, my daughter wants to eat (i.e., food on a stick, on the street) and there is no place to wash.

All that said, I'm freaking a little bit about H1N1.  I normally choose not to have my daughter vaccinated against the seasonal flu - seems every year that they don't get the vaccine quite right, and well, we've been lucky too.  Unlike other vaccines, I consider this one to be optional.  I just don't want to medicate her any more than I "have" to.  But I don't know what I'm going to do this year.  Her pediatrician will likely recommend the seasonal flu vaccine, as usual, but as of now there is no workable vaccination for the swine flu . . . and the question for me is, what's the likelihood they're going to get this one right?  The consequences of getting H1N1 seem to be more dire for the kids - I am drawn to all the awful stories of kids dying from swine flu.  So the overprotective mother says "get the freakin' vaccine, you idiot!"  But I'm unsure right now.

One thing I do know is that I'll be militant about hand-washing.  When I was having chemo years ago, my oncologist impressed upon me the importance of hand-washing - not just for folks with depressed immune systems, but for everyone.  A huge number of illnesses can be stopped in their tracks if you just wash your hands.  With regular old soap.  You do know that those antibacterial soaps are no good, right?  They really are no better at killing germs than regular soap and water, and they can ultimately be harmful to us and to the environment.  Here's an alarming EWG post regarding the horrors of triclosan.

So I guess I'll watch and wait.  I'll keep you posted if I find anything that swings hard one way or the other.  Until then, here's a nice CDC post from earlier in August regarding H1N1 - lots of facts and dispels some myths (thank G-d you can't get this from eating pork - my small "porkatarian" would be devastated!).  For now, I keep looking the other way when I see the news stories regarding "the explosion" that's about to ensue now that our kids are going back to school.

Fingers crossed.