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How to Keep Healthy During Flu Season
The alarm blares at six A.M. Your hand slams the snooze button, ten more minutes. Suddenly, you’re wide awake. You feel a rush of panic going through you…and out your nose. Achoo! You don’t give much thought about the sneeze. Stomping to the closet and throwing on a thin t-shirt and a pair of shorts, you are ready for school. Walking out the front door and closing the door, you noticed that it’s extremely cold. Too late to go back in to grab a jacket, the bus is already rolling in — Achoo!
Influenza infected a lot of people during the winter of 2017- 2018. Influenza is a year-round virus that strikes during the fall and winter. However, chances of getting the flu increase during October and November and they can last until mid spring. Influenza activity is at an apex during December to February. Minor symptoms include coughing, running nose, muscle pains, chills, etc. More intense symptoms include dehydration, fatigue, fever, headaches, etc. All of these symptoms can be mild to severe and they can last from a couple days to several weeks. The flu is an infectious disease which means that you can spread it but more importantly, prevent it. People don’t take precautions to keep themselves healthy. However, everyone can follow these steps to prevent influenza.
Keep Your Hands Clean
The most used body part to make contact with other people and things is the hand. We never stop using our hands and we can spread harmful viruses and germs with them. If you touch something dirty, make sure to wash your hands with soap for at least thirty seconds and if there is no sink nearby, use hand sanitizer. However, if there is nothing that you can use to clean your hands, avoid touching other people. If you make contact with an object that many people touch such as a doorknob, make sure to clean it as soon as possible.
Sneeze into a tissue or into your elbow. Some ailments are contagious, including the flu. They are also aerobic, meaning that they can spread within air. The flu can spread to people up to six feet away and a simple open sneeze can spread germs to multiple people, possibly making them sick. If you sneeze onto your hand, make sure to clean them. Covering up sneezes will close out any possible ways that aerobic illnesses can spread. A good way for remembering to do this is to Dab when you are about to sneeze. The dance move hasn’t died yet and neither has the flu. If you don’t know how to dab, then well… you’ve probably been living under a rock. It’s simple. Tuck your head into your elbow as you sneeze to block off any way that viruses can spread within the air.
Don’t be the kid who is waiting at the bus stop in shorts and a t-shirt when the temperature is below zero. You might have to whip out that clunky coat out of your closet. Wearing a coat that is half your bodyweight is very uncomfortable, however, being sick is even more uncomfortable. Preparation plays a crucial role in staying healthy so always check the weather before you get ready for school or work and dress accordingly. Lots of people believe that cold weather cannot get you sick. However, cold and dry air allows viruses to survive better and that includes influenza. They travel in the liquid particles in the air and cold dry weather allows these viruses to survive better. The best way to prevent these viruses from making contact with you is to cover up exposed skin. Make sure to wear necessary articles of clothing such as mittens, gloves, hats, scarves, etc.
Sharing is Caring…Just Not the Flu
Avoid sharing food and drinks with infected people. Sharing food is another way how ailments can spread from one person to another. It doesn’t matter if a sick person touched the food/drink with his/her mouth. If it is exposed to air and an infected person touches it, chances are, it has dangerous germs and/or viruses on it. Even if you don’t make contact with the place where a person put his/her mouth on, it is still not safe to eat/drink.
We’re All in this Together
So much matters when trying to keep yourself healthy, however, you should put as much effort to keep your peers safe as well. Be respectful of other people’s’ personal space. If you know you are sick, don’t be bursting into others’ bubbles. It also doesn’t hurt to tell friends and family that you are sick. Keeping everyone healthy requires communication. Some illnesses are not as noticeable as others so make sure you let people know that you are sick.
The flu gets in the way of a lot of things in our lives such as our education, work, sports, social life, and the list goes on. You might not be able to go to practice, see friends and family, and leave the house for weeks. When we get the flu, we lose precious time. Not everyone wants to spend an extra five minutes cleaning and tidying up. However, is it better than wasting days of your life, laying in bed and feeling miserable? Probably. So let’s all do our part and keep ourselves and everyone else safe from influenza. Let’s all do our part for a healthier community.