I just spent twenty minutes in the front seat of a car next to a coughing swine flu sufferer. Then I spent another ninety minutes sitting in a small, stuffy studio with her. And I handled her papers. And her CD cases. I might as well have stuck a cotton swab into her throat and then stuffed it in my nose, I was that exposed.
I practiced breathing in various strategic directions, and I handled her possessions by the corners, and I washed my hands repeatedly. I even kept my fingers away from my face, which is sheer torture for me. If I could have worn a surgical mask I would have.
There's no point, though; if significant numbers of people around me are going to get this flu then I will too, I ALWAYS get the flu. The fact that I've avoided it so long is absolutely shocking.
I'm writing this as a prediction: tomorrow I will be as much a physical wreck as she was. If not, however, then I will cheerfully toast my fragile immune system and thank my lucky stars.