As I type this, I feel chilly and achy, my throat and ears are starting to hurt, and I feel legions of snot beginning to amass. Oh dear.
I'm not afraid that my family are likely to die of the flu, swine or other. We're all ridiculously strong and healthy. But I do worry about how we'll cope with flu, or any other bug, if it is indeed arriving.
Only once has our whole family been incapacitated with a nasty virus. Normally, we stagger our illnesses, so there's always someone sufficiently alive to care for the fallen - but the time we all got sick together, with some dreadful stomach thing that was circulating, was when I really understood the saying 'it takes a village to raise a child'. We didn't live near any extended family we could call on, and all our friends were unavailable or ill themselves. Being incapacitated and unable to care properly for your sick kids is one of life's more horrible experiences, especially when your children are little.
So as the season of coughs, colds and flu descends upon us, I'm sparing a thought for people parenting alone and without family to call on. They could be in for some tough times.