(CNN) - Over this past week, I had some interesting conversations with colleagues who are also health care professionals. These conversations usually start with, "You know what I hate about the media ... ?"
Now, over the past eight years, I have grown accustomed to being engaged in these sort of discussions where I am asked about everything the "media" have reported over the past few months, and asked to defend things point by point. It can be a challenging task.
This time, however, the topic was H1N1, or swine flu.
I spent the weekend thinking about what I was being told, and realized there was a larger point here.
People were scared, more than I had seen in a long time. And, health care professionals were blaming the media - accusing them of being alarmist.
So, I decided to get away from the studio, away from the talking heads discussing mortality rates, and away from the hypothetical discussions about what might or might not happen. I wanted to see for myself what was happening in emergency rooms right now.
I was most curious about pediatric ERs, because young people seem to be most affected by this, and selfishly, I was curious about my own three girls and how I should react if they become ill this fall.