After 8 years in an Emergency Department, very little phases me. But at home? One runny nose, one sniffle, or one cough and Iâ€™ve got Lysol wipes at the ready. Why?
The Flu is No Joke – Keep Your Germs to Yourself originally appeared on Perfection Pending and has since moved to FilterFreeParents.com.
Dealing with the flu this yearâ€™s flu (influenza – not the stomach bug) is tough.
Spoiler alerts: my family all had the flu this winter, but we all got better. It was, however, a very miserable time.
This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Read my full disclosure policy here.
I donâ€™t remember who started sniffling first, not that it matters.
At the first sign of a sniffle, runny nose, or a cough, itâ€™s time to break out the big guns. Nebulizers, steroids, and inhalers are strewn about everywhere. Because with asthma, any â€ślittle bugâ€ť can be a big problem.
In any case, the older two boys had the flu first. Then the youngest boy. Then my husband. And finally, after everyone was mostly better, I sat down long enough to realize I had it, too (thankfully, the baby managed to escape the brunt of itâ€¦ because sheâ€™s still nursing and so she got lots of antibodies ready-made at mealtime).
And yâ€™allâ€¦ I had to apologize after the fact for thinking they were hamming it up or vying for extra special care from mom-nurse.
This yearâ€™s flu is man-flu strong, yâ€™all. It sucks. And when breathing is already a concern? Wellâ€¦ itâ€™s all worse.
The flu is nationwide, so be prepared.
In fact, the CDC has said that thereâ€™s pretty much a nationwide outbreak of flu right now. (So I guess we were lucky, catching it early over Christmas break?)
How can you be prepared for something thatâ€™s, well, everywhere?
First of all, if you havenâ€™t gotten the flu vaccine yet, go get it. Itâ€™s a whopping 48% effective this year, which isnâ€™t great. But it still helps by giving your body a head start on fighting off the flu.
In fact, Iâ€™m certain thatâ€™s the main reason we managed to weather it out at home. Okay, so that and my being an overprepared nurse.
But whether youâ€™re for or against that vaccine, make sure youâ€™re also being germ smart. You knowâ€¦
- Wash those hands, yâ€™all. Especially before you eat stuff.
- Donâ€™t touch your face after touching stuff.
- Sneeze into the crook of your elbow, then bathe regularly in disinfectant.
- Donâ€™t hang out with sick people, or youâ€™ll get sick.
- If youâ€™re sick, donâ€™t hang out with other people if you can reasonably avoid it.
- Go see your doctor earlier, rather than later. Because â€ślaterâ€ť usually means a nice, long, hospital visit.
Oh, and know the symptoms of flu so that you arenâ€™t confusing dealing with the â€śfluâ€ť with â€śeverything elseâ€ť.
BTW: Quarantine is a totally valid option. Please STAY HOME when youâ€™re sick.
Dealing with the flu is a community effort
Look, I get that school is important. And work. And so is weekly worship service.
But if youâ€™ve got the flu (or any other super contagious disease), please stay home. Because otherwise, youâ€™re going to be breathing all those lovely germs into everyone elseâ€™s faces, or spreading them across all sorts of doorknobs, desk surfaces, and chairs.
Iâ€™m confident that schools, employers, and God will forgive you for calling in sick with this manflu, er, flu.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Schools, employers, and God will forgive you for calling in sick with this year’s nasty flu. So go ahead and make that call, ‘mkay?” quote=”Schools, employers, and God will forgive you for calling in sick with this year’s nasty flu. So go ahead and make that call, ‘mkay?”]
Because if sick people donâ€™t stay home in a self-initiated quarantineâ€¦ well, then more badness happens, y’all. That’s when I don’t have the energy to make my perfect chocolate chip cookies, let alone eat them. Thatâ€™s also when the flu spreads to other healthy people. And those people can, knowingly or not, give it to people with immune systems that donâ€™t work so hot.
This can include the elderly, babies, pregnant women, and people with asthma, cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, diabetes, and I could keep going for a long time here, butâ€¦ letâ€™s cut to the chase.
Because these are the people that are far more likely to die from the flu.
So keep your flu germs to yourself, because nobody wants those.
We were lucky this time. We didnâ€™t need hospitalization for our flu symptoms or our asthma. But â€śluckâ€ť isnâ€™t a reliable strategy when it comes to illness.
So pleaseâ€¦ letâ€™s help each other stay healthy this flu season.