|You are right to fear this thing.
You probably won't hear that kind of statement very often because our culture has gotten it into its collective head that fear is bad. It's not, at least not for the most part.
Fear is like water, the right amount can keep you alive, but too much for too long and you will eventually drown in it (especially if you just sit there.)
For now, it is important for you to know that almost every single person I know who has done their homework on this thing has a very reasonable, very rational and very sizable fear of a moderate or severe pandemic.
A normal person cannot contemplate the very likely impacts of such a pandemic without experiencing both a rational concern and an emotional fright.
It would, at least temporarily, be TEOTWAWKI (the end of the world as we know it.) That does not mean the world ends. It does not mean that 'normal' will never come back into our lives. It means that if a moderate to severe pandemic occurs, our daily lives, and those of most of humanity, will change significantly and for the worse for longer than we would want or expect.
I think it is almost impossible to really face the prospect of a moderate or severe pandemic in your mind without triggering that most basic genetic survival tool - fear.
Many people, including many we know, may die. Worse yet, most of them might be young people, just starting to live their lives. Some will die from the pandemic itself and some from the impact the pandemic would have on our critical support systems such as health care, medicines, food, power, heating fuel etc. Most of us, especially those that have lived our entire lives in comfortable places like the US, have never experienced such things in our lifetimes - at least not of such depth and duration. We may have read about them elsewhere, but to have them settle like a cold blanket over our homes and communities, at the same time as it covers communities all across our country and the world, will be something entirely new.
I don't say these things to add to your fear. I say them so that you will realize that the thoughts that are bringing fear to your heart are thoughts that most of us have experienced, reacted to (sometimes very strongly), eventually accepted and adjusted to. Right now that may seem all but impossible to you. But believe me when I say that ordinary people, just like you and me, can walk and have walked that road.
While some adjust to these thoughts by denying or ignoring them, what you will find here is people who have adjusted to those thoughts by incorporating them into their view of what the world can throw at us.
What you will find here is people that have mastered (or at least managed) that fear not by ignoring or denying it, but by listening to what it has to tell us, learning from it, and taking actions intended to reduce the danger that threatens us all - the danger that has caused that warning bell of fear to ring.
We are alive today because in times of great danger, our ancestors listened to and learned from their fears and by doing so, they survived.
So take that gift of fear and accept it for what it truly is. Not cowardess or weakness, but an alarm bell that is telling you there is something that threatens you and yours.
As with every other such alarm, the first task is to check whether the threat is real or just someone jumping out of the bushes at you to get a reaction. When I first came to this issue, my perspective was that it was the latter - someone using it to scare folks for their own purposes. That's how I started my reading and research on this topic - expecting that it was someone's Wag-the-Bird scheme to manipulate us through fear.
You will need to come to your own conclusion, through your own assessment and reasoning, but at the end of my initial reading (which included John Barry's historical account of the 1918 pandemic entitled the Great Influenza) I concluded that not only was the threat real, but that the public pronouncements of that time fairly radically understated both the magnitude and the potential immenence of the threat.
Once you conclude that an influenza pandemic may be a potential threat worth acknowledging and addressing in your life there are three basic steps.
Learn, plan and prepare.
This website was created to help people exactly like you do exactly those three things.
So if you have any questions, please ask. That's why we are here.
Welcome to you. Remember, we are all walking the same road.