With the 2014/2015 flu officially declared an epidemic by the CDC, and a vaccine that has proven only 50% effective due to the quick mutation rate of this particular bug, it makes good sense to revisit the best ways to prep for potential illness.
1) Don’t get sick in the first place
Work to keep yourself health every day–get enough sleep, eat right, and get regular exercise. Then, before flu season hits:
2) Prepare in case you do get sick
Most flu symptoms last from 1 to 2 weeks, with an average 5 to 7 days of contagion starting from one day before symptoms start. That means you’ll want to lay in supplies for at least two weeks (longer if you have a family, or tend to stay sick longer). Before you get sick you’ll want to stock up on:
- Sick-friendly foods–clear broths, teas, and other liquids, garlic, ginger; crackers, toast or rice; frozen juice bars (to soothe sore throats); orange juice, or better yet, oranges
- Over-the-counter flu medications–talk to your doctor or pharmacist
- Any daily medications that you might run out of
- Every day essentials–toilet paper, toothpaste, tampons, that sort of thing
- Pet food and other supplies (fido and fluffy need to eat, too)
3) If you do get sick
- Do not go to work–the presentation can wait–not only can staying home in bed help you heal faster, it also helps prevent further spread of illness
- See the doctor right away–anti-viral medications can significantly shorten the severity and duration of the flu, but in some cases, only if you catch it within two days of your first symptoms
- Rest, eat, drink lots of fluids, then rest some more
As for me, I’ll be picking up more chicken broth, crackers, and TP on my next day off.