Thursday, April 30, 2009


These much maligned porkies have now become Public Enemy #1.

For the past week headlines around the world have been screaming SWINE FLU (now renamed Influenza A H1N1). At the moment it seems to me that the media is spreading more panic and pandemonium faster than the H1N1 virus is spreading. Pharmaceutical companies are seeing a windfall as governments send out SOS calls to increase production of the drugs Tamiflu and Relenza. I am writing this in Singapore where the orange alert is already in place. The next two alerts on the 5-colour alert system are red and black.

The front page headlines in The Straits Times, highlighting the Health Minister's advice.

We should not wait for outbreaks like this to be reminded of the importance of personal hygiene and social responsibility. Swine flu or not, there's a proper way to wash our hands thoroughly. Pre-schools teach this as an integral part of the curriculum. For a video demonstration, click here. Or ask your grandchildren to show you how.

The right way to wash your hands thoroughly. (The Straits Times)

Do wear a mask if you have to go out to public places or take public transport. Better safe than shy about being seen in public with a mask. I remember donning one each time I stepped out of the house during the SARS outbreak in 2003. We should go one step further and wear a mask even at home if we have a cold, especially if there are young children at home.

Add a bit of cheer to your mask.

We are ultimately responsible for our own health and well-being, and for that of our children and grandchildren.

No comments: