All of this bull crap about the swine flu "hearkening back" to the 1918 flu is driving me nuts. Let me tell you a few things about 1918 that ought to make you feel a wee bit better.
My Grandpa Burt signed up as a young man to be a 101-day Doughboy for the Great War. The idea was to sign up for 101 days, and then you'd be out, because with that push the War would be over, or so they advertised. It was just as America was entering, and they believed that with one great push from America, the War would be over, and we would win. They called it the Great War, because they believed it could never happen again. But then the one shipload of American soldiers came down with the flu and were sent home to recover, spreading the disease throughout the country. My grandfather was on that boat. He was sent home to Ilion, NY. Then it was determined that he should go to a sanitarium to improve his health, as Ilion was the home of Remington Arms, and the factory smoke could not be good for his lungs. Either that or the town had a quarantine - I'm not sure. It was vital to the War Effort the factory stay open - so the flu would not be welcome in town. The sanitarium was in the Adirondacks, and was founded to help tuberculosis patients. Burt soon recovered from the flu, only to catch TB. He was there for months. They didn't have sanitation or medication to fight the 1918 flu. Or tuberculosis. They used a lot of the same instruments without sterilization between patients. If one patient had a disease in the sanitarium, they all got it, so getting better was rare. Burt did. He then went on with the GI bill to Hamilton College and got a job as a principal in the Utica school system.
Today, even if you were sent some place special to recuperate, they would do their damndest to make sure there was no cross-contamination. It's true that washing you hands often will help keep you healthier. Common sense hygiene currently can help save lives. And our medicines are a huge improvement- we have a cure for tuberculosis now, and in my grandfather's day it was often a death sentence. I'm not worried about this flu. I believe the panic will cause more harm than the disease will. And why yes, I do have a compromised immune system and therefore am considered a high-risk.
I'm not worried. Neither should you.