Every time flu season comes to town, many people are automatically predisposed to say that, of course, they will catch the influenza virus, together with the innumerable common colds this year, just like they always do. Next to these fatalists are those that say that the only surefire way to protect yourself and your family from the flu is to stay at home and not interact with anyone, ever (which is just another way of saying that catching the virus is inevitable). If you are in either of these two groups, we encourage you to read on as you may find that these two philosophies, when it comes to influenza, are old fashioned, irresponsible and unfriendly.
First things first
Is it possible to protect yourself and your loved ones from the flu one hundred percent of the time, or forever? Modern science and common sense tell us a resounding ‘no’. The continuous mutation of the flu virus, the fact that we are surrounded by other people and may interact with individuals who are sick, and the difficult truth that medicine has not yet found a way to eradicate or marginalize this illness, speaks against the idea of there being any single strategy that would prevent you and your family from catching the flu this winter, or the next. You can and you should, however, do everything you can to protect yourself and prepare your body to fight back with greater strength than ever before. To reduce the risk of catching the virus, make any symptoms you may experience milder, and shorten the time it takes you to fully recover, you need to take action. In other words, doing nothing will make you more likely to get sick, more often.
What is the first step you’ve been taught since kindergarten about the prevention of various illnesses? Wash your hands. This advice still stands strong and is as valid as ever. Washing your hands well, using soap and antibacterial hand lotions (the right way), not touching your face (or the faces of others) when your hands are not entirely clean, is still sound advice. Stopping the spread of the virus is easier than many would think, if only everyone practiced these simple steps to keep hands clean, and do things like cover our coughs and sneezes, and not choose to tough it out at work or school when you are obviously ill. Importantly, all of these basic steps in the prevention of illnesses can only be effective if they are practiced persistently and all the time. Remember that this is for everyone’s sake.
Improve your immune system
If your body is to stand a chance against the flu, it needs to be strong. While some people opt for the flu shots, bear in mind that they are not the only solution, nor are they completely effective for all people in all circumstances. Even if you do decide to get immunized, it won’t hurt to also get plenty of fresh air, be physically active, eat well, and ensure that you get all the nutrients and vitamins that a human needs to be on top of their game. If you prepare your body for potential attacks, the illnesses will either be pushed back immediately or have very little success if they do break through because your body’s natural defense mechanisms will not be completely overpowered.
A bit more about the Flu shots
Flu shots are now provided free of charge, or at reasonable cost, in the majority of American cities, towns and regions. Whether to get one or not is certainly a personal choice, and both the proponents and opponents of flu shots have a lot to say. One important thought brought up in this debate is that unlike many other types of vaccinations and immunizations that have become compulsory or strongly suggested starting at a very young age, the flu vaccine is still provided without being advertised as mandatory or carrying any form of guarantee against the virus.
Can you protect your Family?
Given all of the above, you should definitely not think yourself helpless against the flu. Starting with the simple things like washing your hands, you have many tools at your disposal that can make your home a flu-free zone this season, and the next. By consistently practicing these proactive approaches, you can succeed. Stay well!
Elaine.F.Deann is a well known writer who has covered a wide array of subjects so far. She writes on important and useful topics related to flu vaccine.