Good Morning Flu York. Have you already gotten it? (Share in the comments.) Or are you paralyzed with the fear of getting it? It’s bad out there and everyone is sick. According to Huff Post’s, Dr. Katz, “the virus and the outbreak pattern at this point seem to resemble those of the 2003-2004 flu season, in which nearly 50,000 Americans died.” This is a serious bug. So what can you do?
This isn’t Asia, so when you wear a mask on the subway, unless you are Asian you look bonkers, but it’s NY so no one really gives a shit.
You can get creative here, plus “it can’t hurt and it might help … wearing a surgical mask and using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer helped reduce the number of influenza-like illnesses in a group of students living in a college dormitory,” reports James M. Steckelberg, M.D. (Note: Students in dorms should be required to wear hazmat suits at all times.)
Christine Handler on Etsy (above) makes them in every color and pattern.
Hand sanitizer wrestling anyone? Did you know that tea tree, lavender and eucalyptus oil are naturally microbial?
9. Date Online Literally; Mouth Condoms Do Not Exist
Wait until spring for offline make out sessions with random people you meet online. You know who you are and we aren’t judging. There is no work around for this. Stick your tongue in someone’s mouth and put yourself at risk. The more mouths, the more risk. If you’ve been on OkCupid for more than a month you have made out with everyone who has made out with everyone, so giving it a rest until some new blood signs-up might be a good look anyway.
Or you can wear a mask (see above.) Or body condom (Naked Gun.)
With soap and often! “A quick rinse won’t do the trick. To kill germs… washing with soap for 15 to 30 seconds-about as long as it takes to hum a rollicking verse of “Yankee Doodle Dandy,” recommends Discovery Health.
7. If You Are Ill, Remember: You Suck And Everyone Hates You
This is simple logic. If you are sick you are going to get everyone else sick. Do your coworkers and fellow commuters a favor and stay home. No one thinks you are a hero to brave the cold and sit uselessly at your desk hallucinating on Dayquil. In fact, when you ride the train sniveling, everyone thinks you’re an asshole. And when you are coughing in your cubicle, your coworkers hate you.
6. Depopulation Or Prevention? The Flu Shot
Hate needles? Think the shot might give you the flu? Worried about the side affects? Or do you believe it is all an government evil plot?
Conspiracy theorists mention motives of depopulation, while Dr. Kat’s assures that, “it is an established fact that immunization is many times — many times — safer than the flu itself.” The Center For Disease Control & Prevention says “a flu shot cannot cause flu illness. The influenza viruses contained in a flu shot are inactivated (killed), which means they cannot cause infection.”
Warnings from friends who felt sick after the flu shot caused me to worry, but after researching and extensive consideration, I marched to the pharmacy and got my flu shot. I’ll keep you updated of any affects. (Update: Slept really hard and am a little tired – but nothing like the flu.)
Note: The flu shot takes two weeks to be work, so if your partner or roommate is already sick, do what my doctor recommended – “pray and wash your hands.”
What are your thoughts on the flu shot?
5. Sit down: Cut Back On Drinking (Alcohol) and Smoking
I hate me right now, too. And if you’re like me this is contrary to the following recommendation, which is to reduce stress. Plus it’s Greenpoint, so I think you will have to leave, but the facts are, “Smoke paralyzes the cilia, the hairlike cells lining the nose and airways that sweep incoming viruses away before they can infect,” and “even regular moderate use of alcohol can compromise immune response,” says Discovery Health.
I may be going out on a limb here but pot smoke probably affects those stupid cilia the same as cigarette smoke.
Luckily, there are 9 other methods for prevention. No one is perfect.
4. Work or Laugh Your Ass off! (or other stress reducing techniques)
I am a firm believer that stress will kill you faster than most vices, so “control your stress level. Prolonged stress levels can affect your immune system,” according USA Health Works.
There are tons of stress reducing activities right here in Greenpoint. Check out a local comedy show. We listed three this week! Get it on, safely. Sex is a great way to take the edge off. Meditate. Weekly classes are offered at GoodYoga & Greenpoint Yoga.
Exercise at one of the many great fitness centers in Greenpoint. Human@Ease has an infrared sauna, which many believe can stave off illness.
3. Don’t Touch That Pretty Face
Be aware of your own grabby hands. After collecting germs on the subway poll, keep those paws away from your face until you can give them a good scrubbing.
2. Be Agoraphobic: Avoid the Eldery, Children & Sick People
For their sake! (and yours)
According to Yahoo, “Since the season began, 23,501 New Yorkers have tested positive for one of the flu strains in circulation. Elderly patients make up 21 percent of that total and children under age 5 make up another 17 percent of those testing positive.”
Do Grandma a favor and call her. The flu will be a lot worse for her.
If you have young carrier monkeys, that was a decision you have to live with, infected snot and all.
If your boo is sick, sleep on the couch.
1. Sleep Like You Have Never Slept Before
Take your sleep meds, turn on the ocean sounds, close the laptop, do whatever you have to do to get some shut eye. Aside from old favorites like chamomile, Fern Life Center offers a before bed tonic of almond milk, saffron, nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom and honey plus rub your head and feet with coconut oil before heading into dreamland. That sounds nice.