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How Are You Preparing for Swine Flu?

By Justin Jouvenal

Swine flu has yet to show up in the D.C. area, but hospitals and government officials are gearing up for the possibility. Maryland has opened a swine flu command center in Baltimore, Children's National Medical Center is closely monitoring reports of outbreaks, and Howard University Hospital officials are distributing guidelines to their staff on how to care for someone with the disease.

  • How is swine flu affecting your life?
  • What preparations have you made for a possible outbreak?
  • Have you or your family changed your behavior or routines in any way since reports of the swine flu outbreak began to surface?
  • Have you or anyone you know canceled travel or vacation plans because of the outbreak?

Leave your answers in the comments below. You can read more questions and answers from our discussion on swine flu with Richard Wenzel, professor and chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine at the Medical College of Virginia.


By Amy Adkins  |  April 27, 2009; 1:42 PM ET
Categories:  Family Health , General Health , Influenza  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Swine Flu Update
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Back when avian flu was in the news, I started stockpiling groceries and supplies for a 6-month period so I wouldn't have to have contact with anyone. I've since drawn down the stockpile, but I still have my list. I may wait a little bit to see how virulent the swine flu is, but I'm ready to stock up. It's been rather interesting just figuring out what all I may need - printer ink! Lightbulbs! And thank heaven for PeaPod and mail order!

Posted by: dottie_b | April 27, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

I'm preparing by ignoring the hysteria. The media have been waiting breathlessly for a while to call something a "pandemic". It's ridiculous.

Posted by: capsfan77 | April 27, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Well, this could turn into something significant; however, I am very suspicious of the media inflaming this. 1000s die every year from the "regular" flu, and the news people hardly mention it. Already the media is treating this as some alien invasion. I wish they would go back to promoting Obama....

Posted by: Revcain777 | April 27, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

I'm going to purchase some canned soups and baking supplies. If I have to stay home for weeks, I want to be able to eat.

Posted by: AnnsThought | April 27, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

I had my wife pickup 30 rounds of ammunition on an errand trip she was making. She was not happy about it at all!

Posted by: Resigned | April 27, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

I just went to Harris-Teeter and stocked up on milk, eggs and toilet paper. Gives me comfort, like when there's a snow forecast.

One of the nastier symptoms of this flu would require ample TP.

And for the first time, I did use the antiseptic wipes Harris-Teeter provides to clean the shopping cart handle.

Especially living in Washington, everyone should have a couple weeks of food and water on hand. So if this flu gets people to prepare as they should be anyway, that's an upside.

Hopefully this situation will peter out before many more people suffer. It is certainly going to be a learning experience in pandemic preparedness, for everyone -- authorities and citizenry. More so than the periodic tabletop exercise of recent years.

Posted by: DagnyT | April 27, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

My husband had to fly for business today, so he went through what is my normal routine of wiping down the seat handles and tray table with antiseptic wipes. He will probably Neti pot tonight, too, once he gets to his hotel.

Other than that, not much at the moment.

I'm more interested in watching a) how the press breathlessly covers the concept of pandemic (without addressing the virulence or mortality levels of the virus) and b) how the CDC and WHO and other international health agencies deal with the issue.

Posted by: Chasmosaur1 | April 27, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Well, I live in Texas not far from the initial outbreak(*) and am definitely in the "wait and see" camp. Wash hands, avoid large crowds, etc, but no more than that for the moment.

(*) The maps of the cases look to me as if the virus came up from central Mexico, crossed the Texas border at Laredo and then went up I-35 to I-70. Probably we'll soon see more cases along that route and along I-10.

Posted by: TexLex | April 27, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Just washing my hands before I eat. Maybe buy chicken soup and theraflu if needed. But seriously, at this point the odds are much greater that I'll die in a car accident or suffer some other mundane calamity. Let's keep some perspective here.

Posted by: Booyah5000 | April 27, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

I'm keeping my 6 souvenir Mexican piglets in the suitcase for another week.

Posted by: fallschurch1 | April 27, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

"I had my wife pickup 30 rounds of ammunition on an errand trip she was making. She was not happy about it at all!"

Posted by: Resigned | April 27, 2009 3:10 PM


Posted by: AsperGirl | April 27, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

I had my wife pickup 30 rounds of ammunition on an errand trip she was making. She was not happy about it at all!

Planning on shooting the virus?

Stay home or telecommute if you feel icky. Call you doc if it gets worse. Wash your hands. A little common sense would go far right now.

Posted by: miraweb | April 27, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

I have stocked up with can goods,tp,ordered a case of masks(n95) and gloves, sanitizers,had already prepped for the bird ready for 6 months plus. If you read about 1918 you will do the same.

Posted by: jameskthompson | April 27, 2009 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Last winter I watched a video of a lady crying because she had discovered evidence that a strain of flu was on its way to a port in Mexico, and here it is!

If one drives themselves crazy with fear over the many ways that "The Family" (those who control governments, the economy and religion" can destroy one's earth-suit, is one really living?

Fear not what man can do!

Posted by: travis4 | April 27, 2009 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Read John M. Barry's excellent book, "The Great Influenza," the story of the 1918 pandemic. It's also a fascinating story of the history of medicine in the U.S. The New England of Medicine has a good review of of at

Posted by: dottie_b | April 27, 2009 10:21 PM | Report abuse

In case you missed it, last February Dr. Wayne Marasco (at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute) announced the discovery of a revolutionary approach to the the treatment of flu that could well result in flu going the way of polio or smallpox.( This is an excellent time to put some research money where it is needed. We are wildly upset at the moment over a few hundred deaths--know that flu--plain old flu--KILLS 40,000 people a year. Also know that in the laboratory scientists have never been able to transmit flu when the temperature is above 80 degrees (which is why people don't get flu in the summer)--so summer promises some relief from this onset of Mexican flu. Why the news media never tells you this stuff I never will know.

Posted by: Skerns0301 | April 27, 2009 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Well Napolitano isn't doing a damn thing to prepare people so I took it upon myself to investigate the facts and figure out for myself how to prepare to protect my family.

I went to the website and read all the info on swine flu and read all of their recommendations for equipment and supplies to have on hand.

I went to Walmart and bought everything they recommended then I went to Sheels Sporting Goods and bought 250 rounds of .40 s&w 165 grain Full Metal Jacket for my Glock handgun. They had already sold out of the Hollow Points because of people stocking up. Thats ok though I still have 50 rounds of Hollow Points.

The CDC website that there will be major social disruptions so I'm ready to unload a few clips on the crazys if it gets to that point.

I suggest you go to the website and read up because the Obama admnistration failed to warn us about the stock market and now they are failing to protect us from the swine flu.

Posted by: SexismSucks | April 28, 2009 2:50 AM | Report abuse

My significant action was to remind myself to wash my hands upon arriving at work after traveling on Metro.

I already own a thermometer.

I just hope it rains soon because with the crazy pollen count if anybody gets any kind of little virus they'll be even more miserable.

Posted by: RedBird27 | April 28, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Actually, I am making never go to Mexico.

Posted by: capsfan77 | April 28, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

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