You know, it’s amazing how much misinformation is out there. As soon as the first reports of H1N1 came out, the 24-hour news networks fanned the flames of “this is going to be bad” and has prompted lots of people to do things.

First off, yes. It’s flu. It’s a virus. It can spread pretty fast because it’s what’s called a “novel” strain. “Novel” in this case means “oh, we haven’t seen this before” to the researchers and also to our bodies. We don’t have immunity to this, nor do we have a vaccine. So there’s a higher chance of catching this and getting sick from it.

One of the CDC’s recommendations for handling a disease that can affect a lot of people is to close schools. Let’s face it, we were all in schools once, and you know that no matter how clean you may be able to keep your child, they’re going to pick up something. It happens with Jacob and Jessie at their preschools. And because this virus spreads rapidly, the best thing to do is isolate the cases, treat the symptoms, and move on.

As far as how we treat those symptoms, we’ve got a good health care system in this country. For all its faults, the people doing the work are good at what they do.

The hardest thing for me is watching my kids burn through a fever. No, it’s not flu, but it is something, and so because we want to be cautious, we’ve had the kids out of school for the past two days. Laureen missed work Thursday because of this, and that is the part that is going to be interesting on a larger scale.

Because kids are out of school around the state, someone has to take care of them. Someone has to stay home and miss work. Someone if they don’t have sick days to cover it will not get paid, and for lower-income families, that’s kicking them when they’re down. And what if they lose their job? What happens then?

There are costs to this: the frenzy of analysis done by the media wears on our psyche, the parents have to suddenly juggle their lives moreso than normal, and then there’s the people who actually get sick.

So what happens when the next flu virus comes along and is more lethal than this one?