It’s on everyone’s minds, whether it’s a Back2School issue in your house or not. Swine Flu properly known as the H1N1 virus has been reported widely to be on the increase. There’s enough conflicting information on the subject to make someone sick. What’s up with that? — BadWitch
Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…
Dear GWBW — What the hell is going on with Swine Flu H1N1 and all the confusion around it? Why are they telling us there will be an epidemic but not enough vaccine around till October? We’re a non-pregnant healthy couple living together in the suburbs. What should we do? — Oinkin’ Worried
Dear Oinkin’ Worried,
Oh, I get it. I’ve got two school age children, who are healthy, but still in the cross hairs of this Swine Flu, H1N1 disease— along with pregnant women. It is highly worrisome.
So, how do you prepare? Keep your immune system strong and healthy. Not to shamelessly self-promote, but now is a good time to start stress management training. Chronic stress shuts down the immune system. Now, you think, “I don’t have chronic stress. I mean sure I’m stressed, but isn’t everyone. That’s life.” Well, the grumpiness, the irritation, the never enough time and the worry all balled together equal chronic stress.
Sounds horrible, really just a state we have all decided is perfectly normal. Of course, that “perfectly normal” state shuts down immune system, digestion and a number of other “non-critical” body functions. During this flu season, stress is not perfectly normal. It is a perfect recipe for a ‘Welcome Illness’ sign across your forehead.
The next step is to wash your hands early and often. I suggest using Dr. Bronner’s Lavender Soap. It’s made with real lavender extract, which has natural antiseptic properties. That’s natural, not like the antiseptic cleaner that creates super viruses. The liquid soap is excellent and, since it’s concentrate, a little dab will do you. Perfect. Keep some at work, in the kitchen and in the bathroom. Side benefit, you’ll smell great—and not in some fragrance sensitive kind of way.
Remember, if you have contact with a sniffing coworker or kid, wash your hands before touching your face—especially mouth, nose and eyes. And, wet wipes are great cleaners for shared equipment clean up. And, if you’ve touched the office copier, wash your hands. It may seem a bit OCD, but when you’re still standing in the Spring, you’ll be thankful.
Keep your vitamins up, especially B complex and C. Good nutrition cannot be undervalued in the work to reinforce the immune system. The idea, in short, is to treat your body with care in the coming months, so you become less of a happy host for the H1N1 virus. Get enough sleep and be good to yourself. If we take the time to take care of ourselves, we build up our tolerance and our immune system. Then spend your sick days on some recharging mental health days, like God intended.
There are as many considerations as worries surrounding the H1N1 virus. Let’s break down the basics so you and your partner can decide for yourselves.
1) How safe is the vaccine? Should parents vaccinate kids?
The NIH and WHO have been vaccine testing for the US vaccine roll-out mid-October as scheduled. The CDC says that children six (6) months to four (4) years old should be vaccinated. Parents will have to decide for themselves as with the rest of their children’s vaccinations. Here’s recent info from CBSNews item on vaccination risk.
2) How at risk are you?
Travelers should be concerned but only postpone travel if they already have H1N1. Otherwise, WHO is not recommending countries institute special Entrance/Exit checks as this only serves to hold up, not stave off disease among travelers. With worldwide travel so common, WHO feels restricting travel would be more disruptive to the worldwide community than help manage the disease. Some health panels believe students are the most at risk group. Other at risk groups include pregnant women, the elderly, healthcare and professionals dealing with the public, and those people with chronic health problems.
3) What precautions can you take against H1N1?
Guidelines for coping with this flu for businesses, schools and colleges were already announced.
Above all, Oinkin’, remember the majority of people who have had Swine Flu, H1N1 recovered from their surprisingly mild cases quickly (three days average reported). Guard yourself from over-worrying which can make you sick in itself! Stay conscious but not paranoid about your surroundings and those you come in contact with, wash your hands frequently and use hand sanitizer, my personal favorite is EO’s Hand Sanitizing Spray in Organic Peppermint. If you do get sick, the CDC says stay home.
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