A massive flu outbreak seems to have hit everywhere, including MCC. While there truly
isn’t anything that can be done to totally prevent people from catching this, there are safeguards
that one can put in place to curtail the spread of germs.
1. Get a flu shot. Many people seem to believe that they will catch the flu if they get this
shot. False! There is no live virus in this shot. If in fact they catch the flu, it is because they
already were exposed to the germs, which take a couple of days to grow inside their bodies.
I always use a friend of mine as a prime example for why this fear is so prevalent. The
first time she was scheduled to receive a flu vaccine she arrived for her shot and it had been
canceled because the vaccine had not been shipped. That night she came down with the worst
stomach bug ever. Had she received the shot, she would have blamed her flu on the vaccination
for the rest of her life, and naively never received another vaccine.
We need to stop listening to stories about unrelated events being blamed on the flu. Don’t
By the way, the actual flu shot takes about two weeks to truly prevent the flu from happening.
And at that, it’s not 100 percent effective. Some people still get the flu despite having the shot,
although health care professionals note that they will develop a milder case because their bodies
have started to build up a defense.
2. Wash your hands, with soap. I remember being told to sing “Old McDonald Had a
Farm” when handwashing. Heck, sing “Happy Birthday” or “Shape of You.” The point is to
scrub-a- dub the length of time it takes to sing the song.
3. Wipe surfaces and use disinfectant. If you use a computer, wipe the keyboard before
and after using it, as well as the mouse and on/off switch. Now this can become an obsession
(and I’ll admit to being slightly OCD about this) but the whole goal here is to stay healthy, right?
I carry wipes in my backpack, which could avoid my spending an entire night throwing up.
Germs can linger on surfaces up to 24 hours..
4. Run like heck when someone coughs or sneezes. Those germs project up to 17 feet,
and linger in the air for up to 15 minutes. While we can’t see them, just be assured they are still
there. Consider handing the person a tissue.
5. Perhaps the best way to prevent getting sick is to avoid being around sick people…
yeah, right. Given the fact that we have to go to class, work, and in general venture out of our
homes on a regular basis, that’s not realistic.
Back to numbers one through four… especially the first one: Get that flu shot! The
season isn’t over yet, and who wants to get sick right before finals week?