As swine flu (H1N1 2009 Influenza) races across the US, there are now three confirmed cases of people infected with the virus in Hawaii. But with confirmed thousands of cases in over nearly all US states, including major sources of visitors–like California–Hawaii residents should be prepared with (1) good basic hygiene to prevent catching and spreading the virus and (2) a stocked pantry in case you become sick and have to stay home for a week or two.
Good, Basic Hygiene
Flu viruses are spread mainly from person to person through coughing or sneezing of people with influenza. Sometimes people may become infected by touching something with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose.
People cannot get swine flu from eating pork — good news for fans of Hawaii’s pork-based delicacies, like lau lau, kalua pork and char siu. My personal favorite pork item is the surprisingly delicious combination of bacon with chocolate (Bacon and Chocolate Bar famously from Vosges Chocolat).
Simple precautions will protect you and your family, according to the CDC. Wash hands after sneezing or shaking someone else’s hand. Cover your nose and mouth when sneezing, or sneeze into your elbow. Stay home if you feel ill. Use hand sanitizer liberally.
Stocked Pantry at Home
Before you get sick, stock up on soups, juices and other foods to get you through 7-10 days of illness. Replenish supplies of hand sanitzer and tissues. Most importantly, use common sense to avoid contact with sick people.