By Leroi Hardimo
We all know it happens every year around the same time, yet when we get that familiar feeling it’s always a suprise. That stuffy nose. That feeling of body-wide weakness and soreness. As you hear your buddies sneeze and sniffle around you, the realization hits you—flu season is here. “Please don’t let me get that flu or cold that’s going around,” you may be saying to yourself. It seems to hit at the most inopportune time of the year. The weather starts to take a turn for the worse, getting wetter and colder with each passing day. The daylight hours start to get shorter and shorter, then daylight-saving time comes and cashes in its borrowed daylight hour. Suddenly, by late afternoon, it gets dark. This is the setup for micro and nanoscopic-sized invaders to appear and let us know from the inside that summer is over. Oh, the shivers start to rattle one to the bone. Though, it need not be so doomy and gloomy. I’ll take echinacea this year, you say. Maybe load up on vitamin C and/or multivitamins, or whatever ‘natural’ cure-all is popular this season. Ah yes, green tea will do it this time. This little saga plays itself out every year. Until a cure is found for these viruses, we are stuck with the consequences of their arrival in our or our friends’ and families’ bodies. What can be done to mitigate this invasion? Perhaps this is the time to consider flu shots. Flu shots? You mean those autism causing vaccinations, you say? Am I going to get Ebola from a bad batch of flu shots? While it is true that a flu shot is not a 100% guarantee that one will not catch the flu, none of the alternatives have been proven effective. Flu shots have at least some evidence to show they can be effective. Some people subscribe to the idea that the additives in flu vaccines are the real risk. This is another assertion that has not been proven. So what should you do? In truth, there are some basic, common sense tactics that one can take. A good, healthy diet, making sure to get enough rest, avoiding stress (as much as one can), and making sure to get a good amount of exercise are all immune-system-boosting techniques. These simple things can help a person get through many things in life, not just viral infections. It can be very easy to neglect these simple steps because of our hectic lives, but a little attention can go a long way.