It is bad enough that we are dealing with record home forclosures, job loss rates that are the highest in decades, and people have lost their shirts because of questionable banking practices. Now it seems that a flu pandemic is lurking on the horizon.
I can't remember--is plague and pestilence the First Horseman of the Apocalypse, or the Second?
My 11-year-old son is a worrier, and it has taken some convincing to persuade him that we are not going to drop dead from swine flu at any time. In fact, when I was acting a little down last week in the wake of my job loss, Sean was absolutely convinced that I had it.
Not that it is to be taken lightly. This is a strain of the same flu that killed millions worldwide in 1918. My own great grandfather was a casualty of that epidemic, leaving my great grandmother a widow with four children and one on the way.
Modern medicine, however, has come a long way since then. We also have to remember that medical care in the United States is more sophisticated and more widely available than in Mexico, where the flu originated and most of the deaths have taken place.
So we will proceed with caution. I am encouraging everyone in my family to wash their hands and use hand sanitizer so often that all the germs in our house are starting to wave little white flags. Hopefully it won't get to the point where we will have to walk around in surgical masks and be unable to shake hands with the people next to us during mass, but we will cross that bridge if we come to it.
But if I see a guy in long flowing robes galloping down my road on a white horse, I'm not sticking around to see where he's heading.