I know I said I wasn’t going to be doing weekend posts any more so this isn’t a post. It’s just an anecdote about my trip to the doctor when Phoebe was ill. I asked her pediatrician if she was going to test for H1N1. She said she would not as they were not expecting it to hit in Massachusetts until October. Then, at the pharmacy, I overheard the ppharmacist telling his staff that the regular flu vaccine was available now but the H1N1 would not be here until November and that it would require 2 doses. That means it will  likely be December when the second round is given and full immunity will not be achieved until January.

I do hope that all of you are prepared to shelter in place for weeks if your community is hit with a severe form of the flu (that’s not a given yet). Be ready to keep your children home and certainly be ready to avoid the hot spots like supermarkets, malls and other big venues. Start now to bolster that immune system with plenty of rest, fresh air and a good diet. Get a stock of the things that might help you feel better like chicken soup, orange juice, elderberry syrup and fever reducers. Have some things on hand to quietly entertain children such as some new DVD’s, puzzles and play-do. Make sure you are lacking nothing, not cat food or toilet paper or sanitary supplies that force you to make a trip to a store. If you must go out, wash your hands often and properly. It is not going too far to wear gloves when you go out and dispose of them before you enter your home. Are you prepared to get tough with family and friends about visits even over the holidays? This may seem like overkill but as someone with asthma who, on two occasions, would have died from the flu without medical intervention I take this stuff seriously. You may or may not approve of the flu shot. Folks can argue passionately in either direction but the bottom line is that we all want to stay healthy. My older brother spent 4 months in the hospital with Guillian Barre Syndrome after a bout of the flu (he had not gotten the shot yet that year). We are all a bit flu shy you might say.

Be well.


PS Okay, I can’t resist. Just one little homesteading note. Bruce and I had our first kid-free day together and spent it getting a load of pig food from the food bank. It was so romantic, hefting cases of outdated chocolate milk and boxes of produce that had seen better days from the back of the pick-up to the pig area. Then we dug potatoes and lugged the ones that had finished curing to the basement. Ahh. The good life.