The weather is starting to turn cold, the trees are bursting with color and pumpkin everything fills shop shelves and bakery counters. It is fall once again and with this lovely time of year comes the not so lovely flu. Unfortunately for my fellow immunocompromised peeps and me, this time of year often becomes the time we retreat back into our safe cocoons of sick-free-ness. This year lets change that!
We can all do our part to not only help to keep immunocompromised people safe but to also help reduce the spread of flu to everyone. (not to mention all the stuff about Ebola in the news) It is time to make a few simple changes to our habits to help make everyone healthier.
All it takes are three easy steps!
1. Get your flu shot.
Yes I know there is all sorts of controversy about vaccines but the thing is we are healthier now then before them and many disease have been almost eliminated because of vaccines. So go get your flu shot to help protect yourself and people you may come in contact with that can't get a flu shot. (people like me with such a low immune system) Some people claim (my old self included) that the flu shot gives them the flu. This is not actually true, what happens is if your body is fighting something when you get the shot, that bacteria that is alive is able to grow slightly out of control while your body fights off the dead flu virus. To prevent this get your shot when you are totally healthy and not fighting anything off.
2. Wash you hands!
This is the number one way to prevent the spread of disease. Every time you go to the bathroom be sure to wash those hands! (It seems like I shouldn't need to say this but go check out a public restroom its amazing how many people don't wash their hands!) Also wash those digits anytime you cough or sneeze or blow your nose. And please throw that used tissue away, it is nothing but a germ fest and a box of tissues is much cheeper than a hospital stay, there is no need to save it.
3. Stay home when you are sick!
This is probably the hardest to follow. In our society you are expected to go go go, well lets work together and change this. Not only will staying home and resting help you get better faster it will also help prevent you from giving your sick to someone else. If you are a boss, don't make it so hard for employees to take a sick day. A teacher? Help your students to catch up when they get back rather than making them feel like they can't miss a day. We really need some serious overhaul in this department! If you must go out when you are sick be sure to follow rule number 2 (wash your hands a lot) and wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
Lets all do our part this winter to make this winter the best one yet! Until things start to change I'll be in my bubble, avoiding crowds and groups of notoriously sick people (kids, college students etc.)