Lifestyle Magazine

How To Protect Yourself From The Cold & Flu

February 24, 2022
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

In an age of social distancing and masking up, the last thing you want is to take foolish health risks and catch something (not that you ever do).

With so much talk about the pandemic, it’s easy to forget that we’re in the cold and flu season.

We want to do everything we can to avoid getting sick because the last thing we need is to weaken our immune system further, especially right now.

BACTERIAL VERSUS VIRAL

Bacterial infections can be nipped in the bud pretty quickly with a round of antibiotics. But with viral illnesses like the cold or flu? Not so much. You pretty much have to let them run their course.

Sure, certain medications can ease their symptoms, and your immune system is probably strong enough to fight off a cold or flu virus. But Why not give your body a break by doing what you can to avoid catching something in the first place?

YOUR FIRST LINE OF DEFENSE

Wash your hands.

That is your first line of defense against catching a cold or flu virus.

And remember not to touch your face, especially your eyes, nose, and lip areas, with unwashed hands.

Whenever you’ve been out and about, wash your hands.

Whenever you’ve touched something while out and about, wash your hands.

Whenever you can throughout the workday, wash your hands.

And just like mom said, always wash your hands with soap and water before you eat or drink anything. If soap and water aren’t available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

THE MOST LIKELY WAY YOU WILL CATCH THE COLD OR FLU

You are more likely to catch these viruses with your hands than any other way.

Sure, someone sneezing or coughing in your face is never a good thing, and although it’s pretty gross, the odds of getting the flu or common cold are much higher by grabbing a handrail or touching the handle of a shopping cart, or by closing a door behind you or touching a doorknob.

Don’t worry about the virus entering your body through your skin because it can’t. That’s not the problem. It’s your face. And we touch our face a lot more than we’re aware of.

We touch our noses, rub our eyes, or stick our fingers near our mouth when we eat or cough. Or we handle our phone with dirty hands, then wash our hands but then touch our phones again, recontaminating our hands, and then we touch our eyes, nose, and mouth. And the virus makes it to a mucous membrane in any of those areas, which is right where it wants to be.

So, please stop touching your phone and then touching your face.

Never touch your face after handling your mobile phone or smart device until after you’ve used an alcohol-based hand sanitizer on your hands.

FINAL WORDS

Washing our hands isn’t some impractical or irrelevant hygiene chore dreamed up by public health officials to trick you into believing you’re doing something to stay healthy.

Nope. Mom was right.

So, what are you waiting for? Go wash your hands right now before you thoughtlessly rub your eyes or scratch your nose because you’ve probably been reading this post on your mobile phone, tablet, or computer!

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