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Take Care of Yourself This Cold and Flu Season

This winter is rife with viruses. People all over the country are being treated for the flu and many are being hospitalized with pneumonia. A disturbing number of people are dying from the flu this year. Most of my coworkers and many of my friends have been sick with one virus or another. One of my doctors is even down with the flu right now.

I work with truly wonderful people. One of the guys bought a gallon of orange juice for anyone who was interested. Another bought pizza one day so we didn’t have to leave for lunch and risk exposing ourselves to more sick people. Throughout the past few days, my coworkers and I have discussed various flu strains, the flu shot, Tamiflu, cold medication, vitamins, herbal supplements, and the merits of elderberry syrup. We do not work in the medical field, but we’ve all done our homework this flu season.

I am thankful that I don’t have the flu. I’m suffering from a cold, but it’s not debilitating. I have been taking every precaution possible to keep from catching something else or sharing my cold with others. I’ve been liberal with the use of Lysol and hand sanitizer at home and around the office. I spray my work space, phone, and keyboard with Lysol. I cover my mouth and nose with a tissue or my arm when I cough or sneeze. I wash or sanitize my hands after blowing my nose or handling anything questionable. Another thing I do is sanitize my hands after shopping. There are countless germs, bacteria, and viruses just waiting to catch a ride with me at the store.

Several years ago I watched a news story about the best way to avoid catching viruses. The doctor on TV said the number one way to avoid getting sick is to frequently wash your hands with soap and water. I took that advice to heart and wash my hands a lot. It’s so simple. I just squirt some soap on my hands and scrub them under running water. Yes, it dries out my skin, but that’s why I buy hand lotion.

I take quite a few prescription medications for my various health conditions, so I try to avoid taking anything extra. I figure my organs work hard enough the way it is. I like to treat a sore throat by drinking hot orange cinnamon spice herbal tea mixed with a couple teaspoons of honey. My tea isn’t fancy, but it’s delicious. It’s Twinings of London, but Celestial Seasonings also makes a really good orange spice tea if Twinings isn’t available in your area.

Honey is great for sore throats and coughs. I use raw local honey that I buy from my uncle or my local farmers market. It’s high in antioxidants and can lower cholesterol, triglycerides, and can even be used to treat burns. Honey also helps me build immunity to several seasonal allergens.

Unfortunately, hot herbal tea and honey hasn’t been enough to help me deal with this cold. I’ve taken Tylenol Cold in liquid form a few times. It works pretty well. I can tell I’m on the mend because didn’t have any cold medicine today. My orange cinnamon tea and honey was enough to keep my cough at bay.

These viruses are beastly this year, so take precautions. If you’re sick, take care of yourself and don’t ignore your symptoms. Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and we all want to be healthy enough to enjoy it.

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