Monday, October 5, 2009

Three down

In a class of 21 students, I had one out last week, and two emailed me this morning to say they've got a fever and likely the flu, and thus would not be coming to class today. My response was, "Good! Please don't come in until you've been without a fever for 24 hours. We'll work out the details when you come back. "

So here we go. Hopefully, the sick ones will stay home and I won't get sick. We're as ready as we can be, I guess. I got my seasonal flu shot about a week ago, and the CDC will offer H1N1 vaccines as they become available. I'm OK with getting the vaccine, especially after I heard that it's prepared the same way that seasonal flu vaccines are prepared each year.

I have thought, though, about what I'll do if I get sick for a week. I can't imagine excusing myself from my responsibilities for that long. Not that I'm particularly essential for anything, I guess I just usually feel pretty busy with this and that. But I would heed my own advice, and make soup and hopefully feel good enough to knit.

A friend sent me a useful email the other day, listing things people could do, besides hand washing, to help reduce their chances of getting the flu. I hadn't thought of a couple of these. The advice centered around the fact that the virus has to physically be at a point of entry (i.e. inside one's mouth or nose) for a while, an hour to a few hours, to be able to get into one's body. With this in mind, the advice encouraged drinking plenty of warm liquids to wash any virus down to the inhospitable conditions of the stomach. Also, it was suggested to use a saline nasal spray a couple of times a day, followed by "vigorous" nose blowing, to dislodge virus in nostrils.

Simple stuff, but stuff I had not really thought of. It's definitely getting to be the dry season here, and I'm trying hard to keep my hands from cracking due to all the hand washing. I'll try these things (maybe with moderate nose blowing), cross my fingers, get enough rest, and hope for the best.

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Hi, sorry to make the humans do an extra step.