Flu pandemonium.

Worst case scenario: half of us die. Best case scenario: we live.

All right then. So there's a 50/50 chance of survival here, according to flu pandemic theorists. And the scary thing? (OK, well, other than dying.) It's not a theory. A flu pandemic is coming. To quote the virologist I spoke to today, "It's not if, it's when." And, uh, she also clued me in on those expected mortality rates.

Great. So there's one more thing to worry about on top of training for a half-marathon alone this year.

As if the flu isn't bad enough. The fever, the vomiting... the vomiting. But do we ever expect to die from the flu? Isn't that what Thera-Flu is for? Hot tea? Rest?

More importantly, how do we prepare for this?

I was told to stockpile. Hoard food in your home. Canned goods. Vitamins. Fruits. Proteins. Prepare to to be quarantined in your home for five or six weeks. Wash hands -- wait. Five or six weeks? Weeks? In my home? Here? For over a month?

Oh man.

You know, I like to be home. I do. I enjoy time to myself. Relaxing. But I'm sorry, I need fresh air. I need people. And even more so, if I'm about to die from some strand of bird flu, I need Mom.

You can't keep me locked up for six weeks. No way. What are they going to do, shoot my car off the freeway as I'm cruising like a bat out of Hell toward salvation? And by salvation, of course I mean Mom. Honestly, she cures everything. She can certainly cure the bird flu. And you better believe she'll be feeding me chicken soup if I come down with this thing.

(Wait. Maybe not chicken soup. Chickens = bird flu. How about tomato soup?)

I've pretty much just come to the conclusion that I am not going down without a fight. So, fine. Bring it on, birds. Bring on your pandemonium. Bring on your ban of public gatherings. Your school closings. Your vaccination shortages. Your plague-like cruelty. Your death toll.

I've got Mom. And tomato soup. And we mean business.

(Oh, and also, Mr. Bird Flu - I'm too young. So could you spare me? Mom, too. And Dad. Don't forget my Sister. Oh, and my friends. I'll make a list.)

(Photo courtesy of www.theonion.com)