I MAY be getting a little paranoid, but sickness seems to be everywhere at the moment.
We’re already deep in Canberra’s winter and everyone is coughing or sneezing. A large menagerie of bugs and viruses is flying around Canberra schools and workplaces, hitching rides home with children and parents to invade our homes.
As I type this column, I have a running nose, sore throat, temperature and a big box of tissues at my elbow.
In our house we have been hit hard. Everyone in the family has been afflicted. We can’t stock up with enough tissues, paracetamol, ibuprofen, hand-sanitiser and cough syrup. All these are in constant demand.
It’s easy to feel like there’s been an outbreak of biological warfare. We’ve certainly been taking precautions. I haven’t sent our children to school with white face masks yet, but they’ve been subjected to a rigorous regime of infection control with hand washing and avoidance of obvious plague bearers high up on the list (and don’t ever read the magazines in your GP’s waiting room or let your children handle any of the kids’ books there).
We’ve been getting plenty of vitamin C with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. I’m also a great believer in good old chicken soup when you feel a cold or flu coming on – after all, generations have sworn by it. Then there is the flu shot, of which I am a strong supporter. If you haven’t done so, get it done now. It certainly beats coming down with the flu – or worse still, pneumonia.
Despite the sniffles or that annoying, lingering cough, many of us insist on soldiering on; work still needs to be done, colleagues are depending on us, kids still need us to do the stuff we usually do for them (even if we’re on death’s door).
I sometimes wonder why, despite all my precautions, I spend much of winter sick; why that nagging head cold never quite goes away or why it takes weeks to recover from the flu?
I suspect the biggest factor is simple lack of rest. It seems there’s no getting off the treadmill of work, even when we’re home sick, and over the long winter we never give ourselves really a chance to get better.
So this season I’m going to make a conscious effort to pull up the shutters and rest, recover and get better before I tackle all the things I need to do. More chicken soup first, I think.