It is sneeze central around here. All I hear whether in the market, elevator, subway, or on the street is “achoo.” I want to wrap my whole body in plastic wrap to keep the germs off.
This year’s flu season has been quoted as the worst in nearly a decade. Even some of the healthiest people I know have been stricken with it, and the recovery is 2-3 weeks at best.
It’s not too late to put up a strong defense with the hope of getting through the final weeks of flu season (yes, there is still time left in flu season!) without incident.
Below is a compiled list of “dodge the flu” tips:
- I love that kids are being taught to “cough like Dracula” and sneeze into their arm instead of their hands. It’s a bigger span of space so reduces the amount of “spray” into the area, and even better, the germs are not on their hands so less likely to spread. Adults, when a tissue is not handy, please follow suit.
- Greet with a fist bump. The handshake is old news (and easily transfers icky bacteria to your own face when you inadvertently touch your eyes, mouth, etc.). Go for the more fashionable fist bump.
- Wash, wash and wash some more! Your hands especially to counteract any germs they’ve come in contact with. If living in a home with others who may be contaminated, also disinfect counter tops, door handles, remote controls and any other objects you might both touch. Do the same at work, and be sure to clean that germ-magnet cell phone frequently.
- Speaking of roommates, don’t share! It’s so sweet that your toothbrushes nest next to each other in the same holder. Not when your loved one is sick though, as he/she can transmit germs faster than a race car at NASCAR! In addition, use your own towels, dishes and silverware, change the pillow cases regularly and chuck that garbage full of used tissues multiple times per day.
- If wearing gloves as a defense mechanism, that’s great! Be sure to wash them to kill any lingering bacteria.
- Remove your shoes as soon as you get home. This has been a pet peeve that I’ve written about a number of times. Whatever you step in while outside, no matter what it is, does NOT belong on your home floors and carpets. Take off those shoes at once!
- Don’t be selfish! If you do get the flu, do not under any circumstances expose others to the virus and go to work until you are well. Stop being so self-important and stay home for goodness sake! You do not know your co-worker’s circumstances. Some may have compromised immune systems or are caring for a sick relative. If you must continue to work, rather than expose them to your misfortune, work from home.
- If you’re a supervisor, set a precedent and send sick team members home right away until they are fever free for at least 24 hours. Yes, one person out ill will impact the team’s performance, but not nearly as much as if the entire team falls victim to the illness.
If you do get sick, this article offers some suggestions to make the experience at least a bit more bearable, like using soft tissues instead of hard paper towels like my husband does; turning on a humidifier to combat dry air; and flushing your sinuses with a neti pot. A note about neti pots: Yes, they seem gross, but they are a proven centuries-old technique. For those with sinus issues I highly recommend you give it a try. You will quickly get used to it, and your sinuses will be so clear you may actually want to do it every day.
Of course, the best way to dodge illness altogether is to maintain a healthy diet, fitness and sleep protocol in order to build a strong immune system and avoid “achoo-ing” all over the place. Boring, but true!
May you get through the rest of flu season gracefully and without incident.
Marjorie, Chief MOJO Maker™
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