Written by Penelope Farthing
Spooky season just passed and Halloween now behind us. Thanksgiving is up next. Christmas, though the decorations have been up since Labor Day, will be decking the halls in no time. One other season that doesn’t get any positive press is that of Flu Season, the Most Horrible Time Of The Year, which is about to start ramping up soon.
Flu season typically starts in October or November, and can last up until May. As someone who has had the flu (not a bad cold, but the actual, honest-to-goodness, lab-diagnosed flu), I can tell you it is absolute misery and it gets a 0-star Yelp review from me. What are some ways you can prevent getting sick this flu season?
Kick rocks, anti-vaxxers! We believe in science here! Getting your flu shot protects you against the virus by allowing your body to make antibodies against the most common strains of the flu of the season. The CDC has made a handy little widget to find your closest flu-shot giver, linked here. Check with your job’s occupational health department to see if they offer a free flu shot too.
Have you ever been in the office, minding your own business, when Brenda two cubicles down just cannot. Stop. Coughing? Damn it, Brenda, you virulent contagion! Thanks to Brenda and her germ-spreading ways, now the whole office is exposed, and the virus will make its way through the staff and productivity will be down for a hot minute. If you’re sick, just stay home. Taking the day off to recover and drink orange juice and chicken soup will do a lot more good than blearily staring at your computer screen in a failed attempt to get work done. If you don’t have paid time off, or are unable to take off sick for other reasons, see if you can make an arrangement with your boss to make up a day so you don’t take too big of a hit to your paycheck.
Everybody knows to wash your hands: before and after eating, using the bathroom, or after meetings with lots of handshakes. And in flu season, you should wash them even more. But what about common surfaces? Door handles, coffee pots, elevator buttons, and more are all prime areas for a little infected snot to linger and catch you unawares, and they are not cleaned all that often in public settings, either. Keep a little packet of bleach wipes handy for a quick clean of any areas that may be harboring some unpleasant leftovers from Brenda’s germs. Ugh. Brenda.
The flu is spread via droplets, meaning the spray from a sneeze or the mouth juice from a particularly aggressive cough. You can’t prevent Brenda and her no-manners-having self from not covering her mouth when she coughs, or worse yet, coughing into an open hand (gross). But you can avoid touching your face so that any flu germs don’t enter your body through your nose or mouth.
One thing the flu is really good at is kicking you while you’re down. One week you are chock full of deadlines and meetings and hectic commutes, and your immune system, much like the rest of you, is tired af. The flu will take advantage of your weakened defenses, and voila, you are a feverish, achy mess. Staying hydrated, sleeping a full eight hours a night, and eating a healthy diet all contribute to boosting your defenses to make it harder for the flu to take hold on you.
Do you have any flu prevention tips? Leave them in the comments below!
Medical disclaimer: This blog post is not intended for the purpose of providing medical advice. This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to serve as a substitute for the consultation, diagnosis, and/or medical treatment of a qualified physician or healthcare provider.
Disclaimer: This blog was written by me, Penelope, and my ideas are not necessarily reflective of Christelyn Karazin or other writers on this platform.