Now with our track record over the last couple weeks, it may seem funny for me to share ways to avoid the flu, but if I can help anyone avoid what I just went through this blog will be worth the effort:
- Avoid the McCarthys like the plague--we are obviously the center for all things germy and sickness-inducing.
- Get your flu shot (unless you are allergic to eggs). Yes, I know we had our shots and we are all still sick, but that is just dumb luck for us. Every year the producers of the flu shot predict what the top three flus will be and then they make the serum based on those predictions. We just happened to get a different strain of flu this time, but if any of those top flus come around, we will avoid those with the preventative shot we all endured. By the way, it is a fallacy that you can get the flu from a flu shot. The shot is not a live version of the virus, but it triggers your immune system to produce antibodies. That way when you do get exposed to those particular strains, your body will know how to fight it off. This antibody production does take two weeks, so it is also possible for you to get the flu in those first two weeks after getting your shot.
- Stay away from sick people (see #1). I know this seems almost impossible, but when people tell you they are not feeling well, believe what they say and stay away. And the reverse is also true. If you are sick, stay home. I must admit that I am the worst person when it comes to this lat piece of advice (I know my co-workers are rolling their eyes right now as I suggest this). Again, see #1!
- Wash your hands. Because so many of us cannot resist putting our hands near our eyes, nose, and mouth, washing off germs can keeps us from accidentally passing these germs into our bodies. If you are sick make sure you sneeze and cough into a Kleenex, and if you are nowhere near tissue, sneeze into your elbow. Eoin's preschool teacher taught him this, and it is a great way to keep germs off the hands.
- Practice Other Healthy Habits to avoid the flu--clean and disinfect any areas at home or work that are frequently touched by your family or others, especially when sickness abounds. I know this takes time out of your busy schedule, but in order to avoid the hell I went through over the last two weeks, this is time well spent. In addition, practicing a healthy lifestyle by getting plenty of sleep (hmm, this may be where I went wrong), managing stress (or maybe this one), staying physically active, making nutritious food choices, and making sure to drink lots of fluids could help you from succumbing to the sick around you. For more information on the flu