It’s flu season, and almost everyone has experienced this infectious disease (also known as influenza) at some point in his or her life. Like a gift that keeps on giving, the flu brings sore muscles, sweat-covered chills, nausea, fever, scratchy throat, headache, coughing, diarrhea, vomiting, fatigue and a general feeling of death warmed over.
Influenza is an airborne virus that likes the warm, dry air in winter homes but can also live on surfaces like phones and doorknobs. The flu is not fun at all, yet often we fail to take simple precautions to minimize the chances of catching this seasonal bug.
Do you want to be part of the 20% of Americans who will catch the flu this winter? Here’s how:
1. Practice poor hygiene. Don’t bother washing your hands before you eat, never mind how many doorknobs, bathroom faucets, public railings and other people’s hands that you have come into contact with. Recent studies have shown that 1/4 to 1/3 of people do not wash their hands after using the bathroom, so make sure to spread those germs around and don’t wash yours either.
2. Rub your eyes, lips and nose as often as possible. Unless you have just washed your hands with soap and warm water, they probably have germs on them. The quickest way to get those germs into your body is to push them in right through your orifices – so be sure to rub your face whenever you can! Consider your mucous membranes as the flu freeway.
3. Get a de-humidifier for your home and office. Influenza loves dry weather. In fact, the flu is virtually unheard of in hot and humid climates, as the virus “sticks” to water droplets in the air and falls to the ground instead of flying in your face. Crank up the heat in your surroundings and don’t moisturize at all, so those mucous membranes crack open and your body is ready to be infected.
4. Play with bird poo! Pick it off your windshield by hand and thump it at your brother for fun. Direct contact with bird droppings is actually a large cause of the flu in children who see the brown and white mess as a toy. But why should they have all the fun?
5. Burn the candle at both ends. A body system that is weakened due to poor nutrition, inadequate sleep or drug and alcohol abuse is less able to withstand any incoming invaders. Keep your stamina low by sleeping as little as possible, drinking alcohol whenever you can, and eating junk food and sugary treats all day long. Focus on staying stressed out and angry, and your body will be run-down and ripe for an influenza invasion.
6. Hang out in crowded public places, like buses, restaurants, planes and malls, where people will be able to cough and sneeze on you. Make friends with “close-talkers” who like to spray it as they say it, and let them spew saliva on you throughout the conversation. Breathe deeply, and hold it in. Did someone leave used tissues behind on the train or at the theatre? Make it your job to pick them up, saving them in your pockets until you can find a garbage bin.
7. Take care of friends and family that have the flu, staying as physically close to them as possible. Kiss their foreheads, hands, cheeks and lips – they need your TLC in order to get better. Handle their used dishes, clothes and bed sheets, and don’t forget to not wash your hands!
8. Eat raw foods from questionable restaurants and street vendors. Be sure to share your food and drink with anyone around; that pale, sick-looking guy on the train who is sweating profusely seems like he could really use a bite of your sandwich. And don’t forget to sample from other people’s dinner plates without asking! Maybe you’ll be able to pick up a lip fungus as a nice accessory to go with your pending case of the flu.
9. Never disinfect your household surfaces, or anything in your house for that matter. You should let the gunk in your house, car, office and life build up to a visible level. Remember that children’s toys should never be cleaned.
10. Don’t take a multivitamin, and stay away from anything containing vitamin C, a crucial nutrient that your body needs to fight against viruses and bacteria. Instead, fill your body with sugar, which actually reduces vitamin C’s ability to boost your immunity and ward off sickness!
Are you sweating bullets, but still feel a bit chilly? Do you have a pounding headache, a stiff neck and feel like you want to vomit? Have these letters begun to swim upon the page?
Congratulations: you’ve got the flu!
Too bad you didn't bother eating ANY of our 7 Foods for Flu Prevention either...