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Stayin’ Healthy During Flu Season

Well, it’s the start of cold and flu season and I am already wary of anyone around me who is sniffing their nose or coughing.

Don’t even think about getting close to me!

With asthma, a cold can quickly morph into bronchitis or pneumonia. When I had bronchitis this spring, I was VERY sick. My lungs felt like they were on fire and every time I took a breath, it hurt. I lost my voice (Hubby said it’s his favorite time of year when I lose my voice! Funny. VERY funny.) I was so weak I couldn’t get out of bed and missed a week of work.

There’s only so many shows you can watch on Netflix….you go a little stir crazy when you are sick and stuck inside.

And I worry that my kids will get sick too. All 3 of my kids have asthma, and when they were younger, they were hospitalized 12 times thanks to pneumonia. It is REALLY scary when that happens.

Avoid Germs

So I avoid germs, even if I look weird.

I open doors to public buildings with my sleeve wrapped around the handle. When I leave work, I turn around and push the door open with my rear back so I don’t have to touch the handle. I push the elevator button with my knuckle. And hold my breath when I walk by someone who is sneezing or coughing.

In public restrooms, I wash my hands EVERY time. Ever see someone use the bathroom and not wash their hands? Disgusting! Then you have to go out the door after them and touch the handle they just touched after they – well, you know. After I wash my hands, I keep the paper towel and use that to touch the door handle.

I wash my hands EVERY time I return to my office and have touched a door handle, or handle to the office fridge. Think about it – how often do you clean the handle on the fridge at your house? Think anyone at work takes the time to clean that fridge handle? Ugh. (Many of you know what the INSIDE of the office fridge looks like – you KNOW nobody is going to clean the outside of the fridge!)

And the buttons on the microwave….think anyone wipes those down? Or cleans the handle?

And don’t get me started on the copier and everyone pushing those controls.

Wash your hands

I wash my hands. A lot.

I avoid touching my face since germs can enter your body if you touch your mouth, nose or eyes. In another move that makes me look weird, I hook my sleeve around my thumb or finger and use that fabric to scratch my nose.

Told you I look weird.

At home, we all have separate tubes of toothpaste. And keep them on separate shelves with our own toothbrushes. That way, if one person gets sick, it won’t spread to whoever else uses the tube of toothpaste after them.

I scrub door handles, faucets and counter tops at my house. I wash the towels in the bathroom and hand towels in the kitchen once a week. More often if someone is sick.

TV Remote? You’re getting a good wipe down! Cell phones? Yep, cleaning those too.

Am I crazy? Nope. Just trying to be careful and stay healthy.

Anyone else found a way to stay healthy? (And not look weird?!)

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Paddy2cake
    2 years ago

    Well said Andrea! I also do all of the things you do…ANYTHING to avoid the downward spiral we asthmatics suffer when we ge a respiratory infection of any kind. That said, it is very important that to get FLU IMMUNIZATIONS now if you haven’t already done so. Thousands die needLessly every year from complications of the flu. FAMILIES FIGHTING FLU have a wealth of information about the flu important to any and everyone of us who have compromised breathing.
    I also notice many people on cruise ships are sick with coughs, colds, sneezing, blowing their noses, etc. I do ALL of the things you mentioned above in your article, and even use a mask in airports and in airplanes. This last time I used antibiotic ointment in my nostrils and flight spray in my nose….it helped but I still got a cold, just not quite as severe as usual. I’m open to other suggestions as to what helps all of you?…..Thanks!

  • Andrea M Jensen, CHES (R), AE-C author
    2 years ago

    Nice input, thanks! I also get my flu shot every year too! I have many friends that also use masks. You can never be too careful!

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