Archive for the 'Pandemic Flu' Category


Steps to avoid the flu

There are some common sense steps you can take to help you avoid the flu.

1.  Get plenty of sleep.  Getting a good night’s sleep is the best way to keep your body’s immune system strong.  The flu season is not the time to pull all-nighters at work or at play.

2.  Eat right.  If you know how to use a computer, the internet, google, then you know how to eat right, right?  The flu season is not the time to have the chocolate cake.  Kill the sugar for now.  Don’t have the extra cup of coffee.  Try putting cinnamon in your coffee.  Choose fish instead of red meat for now–or at least chicken.

3.  Eat Indian food. This is the time to go vegetarian.  Order dahl.  It’s lentils.  All the spices in Indian food are good for your immune system and fight germs.  Eat yogurt, especially if it gets too spicy for you.

4. Eat yogurt and raw honey. This is the time to shell out and use raw honey.  Forget the sugar substitutes during flu season.  You need what is good for you.

5. Avoid alcohol.  Flu season is not the time to drink a lot, or at all.  Let your immune system get what it needs.

6.  Avoid stressors.  Stressors are as bad as anything.  Avoid people who stress you out if possible.  Be nice, but find excuses.  You can talk to them after the flu season.  Know what you can handle.  You don’t have to have a two-hour conversation with your girlfriend and hear how she broke up with her boyfriend for the fifth time if it really stresses you out.  You have permission to cut short the conversation with your mother-in-law, over-chatty or bombastic co-worker.

7.  Don’t overdo anything.  Flu season is not the time for extra exercise to get rid of what you ate during Christmas.  Yoga and stretching however are good.  Really avoid jogging outside in the cold.

8. Lemon zest.  This is just me.  But there is some research that indicates that the lemon peel might help against the flu.  I’d appreciate further comments on this.  But it can’t hurt.  Put some lemon zest in your tea, etc.  Use the juice too.

9. And garlic and onions.  Raw garlic is best.  Throw it in your soups at the last minute.  You can cook your onions.

10:  You can be creative with soups.  If you feel that it is too cold for salads, then do soups.  Just throw the vegetables you have into a pot of boiling water. In this way, you save all the vitamins that you usually throw down the drain.  Add chicken stock for flavor.  Add tomato puree for color.  Experiment with beans.  Once you got the soup you like, make lots of it so you don’t have to cook a lot.  People will think you are incredible.

11.  Minimize your use on the computer and tv.  Flu season isn’t the time for marathon video games, hours on Facebook and twittering about the flu.  It eats at your immune system.  Same for TV.  Radio is better.  Order some audio books.

12. Leave cyberspace and get to know your real neighbours.  If you get the flu, no matter how many friends you have on Facebook, they can’t help you.  Especially if you live alone, you may need some help.  Don’t wait until you are sick.  Get to know your neighbours now and make nice nice.  They don’t have to be your best friends, but try to work out an alliance.  Get to know the medical people who live around you–those who know how to fix things–those who have connections, etc.  If you have made good relationships in your neighbourhood, then you are living with less stress, and…well you get it.  Now if they are too chatty, bombastic, depressed, see number 6.


The Peter Pan of the Pandemic Flu at the river of de Nile

I’m in the middle of writing a course on how to plan and prepare for the Pandemic Flu.  Not your usual soft-skill course on self-esteem,  leadership, or team-building.  Pretty sobering stuff.  Brings you down to brass tacks.   No doubt about it, there could be great suffering–not just for the people in Pakistan, the Congo, or Louisiana, but for people who almost have their mortgage paid, who raised great kids, who never smoked, drank, or did drugs.  The 1918 Pandemic Flu attacked a group of people that the experts couldn’t predict:  the young adults in their 20’s and 30’s.  Apparently, their immune system was too good and over-reacted almost like an autoimmune disease.  More soldiers died from the flu than in battle.

We literally cannot imagine this happening in our blackberry world, so we don’t.  If we start to get an inkling, we hide it under our pillows where it might come into our dreams.  The only way we can handle it is to deny it.  We all live at that river in Egypt called de Nile.  It’s a subconscious safety mechanism that many Westerners still have.  Death is not the default for them at the river of de Nile.  Peter Pan takes us to Never-Never Land where terrible things Never happen.  It makes us naive and childish–that’s how others from the world view us when we are not looking.

“How can bad things happen to good people!”  “Where is God; there can’t be a God!”  Tantrums start with otherwise intelligent, educated, professional people.  There is no vaccine; there is no magic bullet.  No matter how good your diet is, how much you exercise and do yoga, how much you disinfect and clean things that don’t need to be cleaned—you are still vulnerable; we all are.

To be realistic, we can’t face this head-on.  We just don’t have the capacity.  But just turn your head a little each day, and take deep breaths–you know how to do that from your yoga classes.  You can start taking one foot in front of the other and leave Never-Never land.  Say goodbye to de Nile.

If you are a Westerner, especially an American, your first reaction will be, “So what can I do?  Let’s be pro-active.”  (Are they still saying pro-active?).  Well, actually there are things you can do.  Many things. I’m not giving websites here.  If you’ve gotten this far, you know how to google.  (My spell-check doesn’t recognize google?)  But basically, it comes down to what made America great.  It’s the best team-building exercise to raise leaders.  You need take your hands away from the keyboard; get up from your chair, and look outside the window–you know which one I mean.  Those people who live in the apartments or houses next to you can save your life.  If you don’t know how to communicate with them now, you won’t be able to in a crisis when you’ll wish your blackberry was the fruit.  You might want to keep some of those things called books, because they don’t need electricity to entertain you or to take you to another world, and you might really need that when you are stuck in your house because the government has called for quarantine or “social distancing.”  Are you googling yet?  Because I’m not going to give you this on a silver platter, only the silver lining.

Think of John Lennon’s song, Imagine.  Now put your own words to it, something like this:

Imagine there’s no power

no electricity or running water

imagine there are no shops open

or petrol to run my car

Imagine all the people…