I want to pass some more reliable links on for clearing the air on the severity of the swine flu outbreak and updates on progress clearing it up.
WHO Disease Outbreak News page is a good place to start. They track many health issues as well. Google News is another place to get information.
Avoid social networking places like Twitter, MySpace, etc, as you will read of everything from space aliens and terrorists creating the end of the world on through to news outlets making it up due to lack of other things to report on.
Readiness? Simple: You should already have some food and water stocked for “whatever” just in case there is a rush fearing the stores will close. I try to keep several days of food and water stocked in case of severe weather or any other emergency at all times.
Prevention? Again simple: Practice what your mother taught you about washing your hands and not standing in front of a messy sneeze! ~Duh!!! Oh, and make your mom happier and make sure you eat properly…
What to do? Go about your daily life… Keep informed, and don’t fall for off-the-wall “word of mouth” news. If you hear something off the wall, check the local media, CNN, BBC, wherever you normally get your news from (but not your next door gossip).
One final note: Beware of scams related to swine flu. There will certainly be all sorts of scams surfacing trying to separate you from your money. Do not fall for masks that collect 100% of germs forever, watch out for snake oil type cures. You know…simply don’t fall for people walking up to you on the street with goods that will keep you perfectly safe.
Last note: Beware of malware sent in emails targeted to get your attention about swine flu “news”. Now is the perfect time for malware writers to send infected videos of “the President” talking about the possible pandemic or other well known people talking about it. “Secret tips” on preventing becoming infected will be making the rounds most likely. If you do receive such an email, dump it. If it comes from a friend, ask them if they actually did send it to you, and even then be cautious as they may not realize that they have a worm installed on their computer from that email yet – and of course, it may sound plausable so nobody suspects anything.
Bottom line: COMMON SENSE should prevail! Get your facts from the media and not the neighborhood gossip or the know-it-all in line behind you at the store.