Fresh Living

Fresh Living

Has Swine Flu Changed Your Habits?

The Boston Globe reported this week that the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston is suggesting some significant changes to the Mass service to try to stem the spread of swine flu.  Click here for the whole article, but here are the basic facts:

  • Communion wine, usually offered from a chalice that is sipped by every parishioner, will be suspended from the service so that flu germs can’t be passed by sharing the cup.
  • The ritual of “passing the peace,” which typically involves a handshake or even embrace, will be replaced with a nod or bow at that moment in the service, preventing contact that might spread the flu.
  • Holy water cisterns will be disinfected and changed more often, lowering the chances that someone’s fingers dipped into the water might leave behind flu germs.

The Globe’s religion reporter, Michael Paulson, pointed out that the changes are partially about preventing the spread of swine flu, but partially about easing the fears of some of the 300,000 Catholics in Boston who attend weekly Mass services but might be nervous to come because of the flu risk.


It’s a fascinating manifestation of life with swine flu, and I wanted to put the question out there–has the swine flu changed your habits?  Are you bringing your own mat to yoga class?  Not offering your friends sips of a great new drink you’re trying at dinner?  Staying home from work because your cubicle neighbor was coughing yesterday?  Staying home from church or synagogue?  Please share!

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  • Gwendolyn

    I cannot say my habits have changed since I have had the flu this year and never had it before in all my 59 years–my client had it and I work in a multihandicapped room in a school district–which is loaded with the flue–a young boy of 16 just died in our small town–he went to my daughters school–he thought he had bronchitis so they will do an autopsy since swine flu is suspected. My daughter is daibetic and her doctor who is wonderful and also diabetic does not prescribe the shot since it was produced too fast and not tested at length on anyone and is still linked to a neurological disorder unless you ask for a particular vaccine that is not the standard–a friend who works for a pharmaceutical company is not even recommending people take it–My habits are the same as always–wash hands a lot get plenty of rest–but we all have lives filled with stress and this whole flu thing adds to that–so I guess that is what has changed–my worries over the idea that it can attack different people in different ways–why it is here in the first place and how we are being treated for it–i was not allowed to go in unless I was not better in 5 days–what if it had been too late–since I also have athsma and told the office that. I live the same–but perhaps with more prayers for my family and for others less fortunate and a good deal of worry and yes anger about how we are being lead to believe the information put out when actually so little is known even by those that are putting the info out.

  • Georgia Garrison

    I feel the people who are trying to get the flu vaccine out, as quickly as possible, should have some kudos. It isn’t easy to try and get 300,000,000 million vaccines out, especially since they were able to get the regular flu shots out on time. Instead of being angry, we should all be grateful there is, and will be, a vaccine for the Swine Flu. Being angry has never helped anyone – but being positive and grateful helps ALL. Thank you for the chance to vent.

  • justin

    It is always good to be safe than be infected. Swine flu has created a fear in the minds of many, but it is also true that it can be controlled for sometime until the vaccines are available by taking care of the cleanliness around you and some simple herbal medication would help a lot.
    Fathers day

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