Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Germs, Preventing the Flu

by Cindy Pitts Gilbert for February 2018 Gwinnett Citizen 
Dear Sister Knowitall,
This year’s outbreak of the flu is really serious and, I worry that my family and I are going to get it... I’d love some help knowing what to do to keep my family safe from getting sick this season. Sincerely, Flu Ninja Mama
picture credit from

 Dear Flu Fightin’ Mama,
That is such a huge question to answer. Short of becoming a germophobe or living on a mountaintop, if you interact with people, getting sick is almost inevitable. There are so many misconceptions about germs and bacteria. Colds and the flu along with various stomach bugs are viruses. The flu is airborne so being around someone with the flu increases your chances of getting it. The flu can also live on a hard surface for 24 hours but on a tissue for only 15 minutes. So it would make sense for anyone with the flu to stay away from other people, use tissues when you sneeze or a cough. Cover your mouth and nose wash hands before you touch anything. Please stay home. Whatever is waiting at work can wait. 

There are preventions that can help us fend against those mean little monsters that make us sick.
Wash your hands with normal soap and water often, Sing Happy Birthday all the way through 1 verse. Keep your hands away from your mouth. Why, because in between washing your hands there are more germs and you are constantly touching them. Consider investing in a box of gloves or keep napkins in the car. Make a hand sanitizer spray using diluted essential oils safe for the skin.
Here are some high germ-infested places:
• The gas pump, ATM and Credit Card machines the checkout counter. 
• Your cell phone, your glasses, You touch stuff then you touch them. 
• The phone at the office and your home phone 
• The pen at the pharmacy and doctors office how many sick people touched it before you got there
• The salt and pepper shakers on the table at a restaurant
• The grocery store shopping cart. 
• The bottom of our purse, the bottoms of your shoes. When was the last time you sanitized them? Many families have a take off your shoes at the door policy. 
• Your gloves and coat When was the last time you washed them or at least sprayed the gloves with some antibacterial essential oil or other natural cleaners. 
• Your toothbrush, the bathroom light switch the toilet handle the door handle the sink handles.