First, know this: The flu virus infects your body through your mucous membranes: your nose, mouth, and eyes. Protecting these areas can minimize your chances of getting sick.
1. Wash up
Good hand washing and cough and sneeze etiquette can reduce the risk of spreading or contracting any infection, and they are crucial to protecting your health during a pandemic. Be a good example for your children. Cough and sneeze into your elbow instead of your hands. Wash your hands thoroughly (for at least 30 seconds) and always before and after you eat, after you use the bathroom, and after you touch commonly used surfaces, like the office copy machine.
2. Keep your distance
“Social distancing” and trying to stay more than a few feet away from people will decrease your risk of spreading or contracting influenza during a pandemic.
3. Be cautious
Use a mask if you need to be less than three feet from a person who is sick with flu. If there’s a local flu outbreak, try to avoid crowds when you can. (Cue up Netflix instead of seeing a movie in the theater, for example).
4. Protect yourself
If you are going to be handling the bodily fluids or secretions of someone who is ill with influenza (cleaning up your spouse’s yucky tissues) wash your hands even more and consider wearing gloves.
5. Find balance
Choosing how to go about your daily life during a pandemic means striking a balance between an activity’s risk of exposing you to influenza, and whether that activity is essential for you.
6. Play it safe
Cooperate with any containment measures in your community if they are used. They are well understood to be disruptive and therefore won’t be used unless they are felt to be important.
From: The Flu Pandemic and You (Reader’s Digest Canada) 2006