As more people I know get the H1N1 flu I am wondering about the fear that comes with an unknown illness. No one I know who has gotten sick has suffered visibly more than an ordinary flu and no one has had serious complications out of the folks I know. Still there is the fear associated with this illness. Is it because it does seem to be worse for the young, because the vaccine is untested, or just the fear of the unknown in the first place.
St. Luke's has gone to a verbal passing of the peace in lieu of handshaking due to the threat of the flu. Observing people this Sunday I noticed some sticking with idea, others presumably ignoring or forgetting and some blatantly doing the opposite. I had at least one person hug me on Sunday saying, "I'm a hugger, some little germ doesn't scare me." That may be, but does it scare me? Or the thought of my young son getting it? What is the response to an unknown and unseen threat like the flu can be?
I try not to live in fear but it can be difficult. It is easy for precaution and responsibility to be reduced to neurotic fears and extremes and many are struggling with that balance this year.
What are you doing differently (if anything) because of the threat of H1N1 this year? Why?