No one in their right mind wants to suffer from the flu. You feel miserable, you look awful and sound even worse than that. When you have the flu, you are a seriously-infectious disaster spreading misery and suffering to all the people you love and care for, simply because you go near them. They will hate you for this. Perhaps not long, but for a while at least, and they will remember that it was you who infected them because you didn’t get a flu shot when you should have.
Well, the truth of things is that who can blame a perfectly healthy person who accepts an invitation to watch a football game at a friend’s house, and you are there. You! From the bold introductory paragraph up above. OMG. Now, it is true that because you ruined a perfectly good gathering previously by being contagious among friends does not necessarily mean you are always contagious. But, frankly, how do we know we can trust you to be sensible when you have already proved you can cause a disaster for everyone around you by simply breathing?
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has a number of tips to protect your health from the flu germs that seem to be everywhere when the weather turns cold. You can read tips on how to protect yourself from getting sick on the website, www.NIH.gov, of which CDC is a part, though to be truthful, you can get the same information from your own doctor or pharmacist, since their information came from CDC in the first place.
The federal government tells us that each year, on average, flu kills about 36,000 Americans on an annual basis, though the truth of the matter is that it is most dangerous just about this time of year, when the weather changes from mild fall to pre-winter time. But, for every poor soul who dies from the flu, thousands – thanks to the ability to spread the germs of the disease so easily – suffer in misery, and likely spread the suffering to greater numbers of people.
That is the situation where, across much of the United States, all of us who do not reside in Miami are in now, a time when it gets nasty cold outside, but there generally isn’t much, if any, snow or ice, to make us think winter, and therefore dress and otherwise prepare for uncomfortable temperatures when we dress for the upcoming day.
May we suggest that when you are ready to face outside temperatures, you also consider the possibility of going to get a flu shot? But, if you have reasons for concern about getting a flu shot, go see your doctor first. In these kinds of periods – when one day is warm and the next day is frigid -there are bugs galore to go around, and some of them will certainly want to reside in a healthy specimen like yourself. Your doctor, or even your pharmacist, will have some good ideas for keeping the nasty little bugs out of your vulnerable body.
If someone in your immediate family is already hacking and feeling bad, try to contain the contamination in your house as much as possible. Coughing or sneezing into a tissue that is immediately put into a trash can where no human hand will touch it for up to eight hours is essential for the good health of the rest of the family.
In a family situation, isolate the sick one as much as possible so that the others do not breathe in the germs that poor darling is breathing out and sharing with the rest of the household. The sickly one and everyone else in the household should wash their hands repeatedly so often during this time that the great majority of germs are flushed down the drain.
Better yet, rather than washing hands again and again, CDC recommends that you buy some alcohol-based hand rubs and have them out and available for family use to kill any germs on hands that will keep spreading the misery to all who come in contact with the germs, including re-infection of family members.