With G‑d's help, by the time you are reading this, Swine Flu will have gone the way of the Bird Flu, the Spanish Flu and the Perrier shortage of 2002. Until then, here is a selection of random lessons we might learn from it:

Any doctor will tell you that the best way to prevent infection is what your mother always told you: Wash your hands! Amazingly simple, profoundly obvious and easily achievable; no six-month training course required.

Society has a tendency to be impressed by gargantuan efforts and dismiss the elementary as unworthy of our attention. Often, simple is better. Think daily flossing versus root canal.

Our opportunity to be in a meaningful relationship with G‑d is similarly within reach: "It is not in the heavens… nor across the sea... rather, this thing is very near to you…" (Deuteronomy 30:12-14).

Want to explore your relationship with G‑d? Try some simple mitzvah observances. The Rebbe recommends a starter kit of ten basic practices.

We can't ignore viruses just because we can't see or understand them. There are forces we can't touch or analyze; and they sure get our attention. It's hard to see G‑d and a lot harder to understand His ways; yet there He is, everywhere.

Think you have no capacity to impact the world? Infectious diseases teach us the impact we all have on one another. If it's true in the negative, it has to be true for the positive. Think a casual good morning to a stranger is meaningless? Think you should only call people when it's an emergency and never "just to say hi"? Think again. Your human interaction could change someone's life for the better.

With respect and sympathy for the victims, one might consider the number of deaths to be barely noteworthy (it is far below what highway accidents, many other diseases, and even the common flu cause); yet look at the laudable outcry and concern throughout the world!

Bravo humanity! Who says man has no concern for his fellow? Instinctively, we understand that we are created by G‑d, with an obligation to care for everyone He has placed on this Earth. Not just my buddies or locals from the 'hood. People do care, and not just because not caring puts them in danger too.

We solve one problem and new ones appear. Medical cures are found, but diseases reformulate and reappear with aggression; we combat them and so it goes. It's tempting to think that if we fix "it" we'll have nothing to worry about ever again. Ha! If only it was so simple. That's life.

Similarly, the basic chassidic work of Tanya emphasizes that life for the average guy is about continuously dealing with challenges, withstanding temptation and then withstanding its mutated form. Resist the extra cupcake, and tomorrow you'll find your favorite pie staring you in the face. That's life; that's living: overcoming challenge, and then dealing with the next one.

As with all past outbreaks and pandemics, this too shall pass (with G‑d's help, very soon). At some point, someone will declare that it is "controlled" and then that it is over. Is it the CDC or the WHO? I don't know, but whenever they proclaim that the danger is gone, we'll all breathe a sigh of relief.

Maybe somewhere in this list is the lesson that this is all meant to teach us, and once we learn it, we will merit the time when death will be swallowed up forever, with the coming of Moshiach now!