Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Avoiding colds and flu - thank-you Kate Winslet

I'm hardly an expert, but I will say after changing a few simple habits last winter I escaped both colds and the dreaded flu for the whole season. And I have Kate Winslet to thank for it. 

Let me explain. 

Did you ever see the movie Contagion? It was a film that made you feel like never leaving the house again for fear of deadly viruses. Anyway, one scene stuck in my mind. The characters are talking about disease vectors and how the titular contagion spreads. She explains if people would just stop touching their faces, the virus wouldn't have as good an opportunity to enter the body. 

So simple. After that I made a great effort to stop touching my mouth, nose and eyes so much, particularly during/after being out in public. 

The one other thing that I started doing was paying attention to hand washing. Really. I now wash my hands whenever I enter a new building or before eating, in addition to post-lavatorial visits. 

And I wash them properly. Not doctor-level fussiness but I take at least ten seconds to scrub with soap (or just water if no soap available- I'm told it's nearly as effective?). And then I take the same amount of time to rinse. Dry thoroughly. Damp hands are not hygienic, probably. 

Thus it is I am now horrified when people literally dash their hands under the tap, shake and leave. 

Anyways, there are of course many other things you can do to help avoid the winter lurgy and stay healthy, most of which I'm sure you are aware. 

- Eat heaps of fresh fruit and veges. 

- If you need to sneeze, do it into a tissue or the crook of your elbow. 

- Minimise contact with door handles if possible. 

- Cover your mouth when you cough (and don't touch your face after!)

- Get the flu shot!

As I said, I'm no doctor but I was very surprised the difference these simple changes of habit made to my health in winter, am I'll be doing them again this year!

What do you do to avoid colds and flu?

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