Autumn is upon us and though this means colourful leaves and cooler air, it also means the beginning of yet another flu season. With the words influenza, common cold and pandemic floating around like germs themselves, beginning to prepare for the possibilities is a common thought in households.
So how exactly does one go about preparing for flu season? There are a few things to consider, mainly prevention, followed by dealing with and stopping the spread of illness.
The first thing to consider during flu season is avoiding getting the illness to start with, which is as straightforward as washing hands, eating a balanced diet, getting enough sleep and going about life, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada.
They explain the importance of getting the flu shot every year because the flu changes with each flu season, making shots from previous years ineffective. This year’s flu shot protects recipients against H1N1 and two other strains of the flu.
Clinics to receive a flu shot are available starting Oct. 30 through Jan. 12 in the Tri-cities, with the schedule available at www.regionofwaterloo.ca/seasonalinfluenza.
So what are college students doing in preparation for flu season? Some people take it more seriously than others.
While many students are stocking up on Vitamin C and looking into flu shot clinics, Shane Frost, a second-year advertising student, isn’t making any plans. Though he says he’s always habitually used hand sanitizer, he’s not concerned about the flu.
“I haven’t had the flu once, I don’t get sick. I get colds every so often but that’s it,” he said. “I’m just kind of winging it. I don’t take supplements or anything — I drink from other people’s drinks. I don’t really worry about it.”
Frost said that if he were to get sick, he’d probably still attend class if he could — partly to get his work done, and partly to spread the misfortune. “I think it’d be hilarious. If I have to be miserable, everybody else should have to be miserable too.”