You have a high fever, cough, fatigue, and body aches. Is it the flu? Is it swine flu? What do you do?
The idea of a potentially deadly virus spreading from person to person throughout the world is a scary idea. What do we do with all the information available about this disease?
We could lock ourselves and families in our homes, bathe in sanitizer, cover every known surface with Lysol and bleach, throw away all the pork products, and wait out this potential pandemic.
Or we could live our lives as before, taking precautions we should be taking anyway to prevent the spread of disease, such as washing hands and staying home when sick.
About 36,000 people die from the flu every year in the United States. This compares to about 936,000 per year who die from cardiovascular disease, 553,000 who die from cancer, 69,000 who die from diabetes, and 43,000 who die from car accidents. You are more likely to die in a car crash than die from exposure to the flu.
Fear is not a way to live life. Fear is an emotion designed to protect you from real threats, like a deer jumping through your window. It is designed to warn you when something is not right, when you are in real danger.
In the Bible, God tells Joshua to “be strong and courageous.” It is not His design for us to live in fear of anything, especially a malicious little virus.
Inform yourself of the symptoms and treatment of swine flu if you must, but don’t live in a constant state of anxiety about it. Even if this disease spreads into a major worldwide pandemic, all you can control is yourself and how clean your hands are. Nothing can be gained by fretting over the possibility, however remote, of meeting your demise in a hospital bed, your body wracked with swine flu, your loved ones standing by (with masks on).
Get out there! Smell the roses, soak up the sunshine, eat a ham sandwich. Live your life the way it was meant to be lived.