Delicious Grilled Shrimp at The Pond in Aurora, Kentucky
If you’re anything like me, you LOVE to get out in all the hustle and bustle around the holidays – whether it’s Christmas shopping, hitting up all the after Christmas sales, or shopping for things that’ll help you with your ambitious New Year’s resolutions and goals.
Not to mention hitting up Starbucks for a Chai Tea Latte as often as possible.
The fact that we’re smack in the middle of a vicious cold and flu season (on top of ever-lurking COVID) is keeping a lot of people at home. I may be in the minority on this opinion – but I think that’s a bit sad. Unless you fall in a particularly vulnerable category (with pre-existing medical conditions), living your life in fear or allowing what “could” happen to dictate your life is, let’s just say, less than you deserve.
It’s a big, beautiful, endlessly fun and exciting world out there and we only get one chance to live this life. Always make the most of it! Having said that, naturally common sense has to (and should!) prevail.
If you have pre-existing medical conditions, be EXTRA cautious. Flu, COVID, and even a cold can be more nasty for those of us with conditions than others. Me? I have bronchial asthma and Celiac, so I am cautious when I go out, as you should be whether you have conditions or not.
I’m so notorious for having hand sanitizers with me that I receive them in gift bags and in my Christmas stocking. I’m very happy to say I’ve gotten my family hooked on them as well. Even my two oldest grandbabies (ages 5 and 3) know to use them anytime we’ve been in a store or restaurant. I’ve taught them to use them effectively and they are more diligent than some adults!
In addition to hand sanitizers (seriously, you should always have a great supply… are you ready for it… on hand. Sorry I could not resist.), here are a few other ideas to stay active and involved but also stay well:
- Get plenty of rest. The more rested you are, the healthy your immune system will be.
- Eat right and drink green tea. Eating a healthy diet and drinking green tea also help keep your immune system in top working order. If you don’t like green tea, drink regular tea – it’s also very good for you.
- Have your vitamin levels checked and talk to your doctor about vitamins and supplements. As I am not a professional, I won’t make any recommendations here but there’s a wealth of information online about zinc, vitamin c, and vitamin d. Each are frightfully important. Please talk to your doctor about what vitamins could help keep you well.
- Airborne viruses can be nasty (more about just how WELL I know below). If it makes you feel better to wear a facial mask, wear it when you go out. Combined with safe-distancing and frequent use of a good hand gel, this will help put the odds in your favor.
- Wash grocery carts with the provided towelettes.
- When it’s cold outside, wear your gloves and continue to wear them in stores. When you come home, throw them in the wash and they’ll be ready to go next time!
I don’t want to, in any way, make light of seasonal illnesses. They’re nasty! Last year, around Halloween I got a cold and didn’t think much about it. Colds happen! But it held on and held on and kept getting worse until it went into all out bronchitis – the worst I’ve ever had. Bronchitis is hideous for anyone but for someone with chronic bronchial asthma, it’s next level and quite frightening. You feel like you’re breathing through a coffee stirring straw and have a nonstop cough, fever, and aches on top of it. Due to the fact a family member was going through an illness and surgery at the time, I didn’t go to the doctor nearly soon enough (I was the last thing on my mind at the time…. silly, I know) and it got really bad. When I did go to the doctor, he was CONVINCED it was pneumonia because of how bad my lungs and cough sounded (plus the high fever). X-rays showed it wasn’t anything that dramatic and a quick test proved it wasn’t COVID – I simply had the worst bronchitis known to man and was thisclose to the hospital. So when I say I know how scary cold and flu season can be, trust me… I know. With that hideous bout of bronchitis, I even started sleeping with my asthma rescue inhaler under my pillow because I’d often wake up at night unable to get a good breath.
When cold and flu season hit this year, I’d be lying if I didn’t say the memories of that illness weren’t in the back of my mind. Something about coughing for over a month, being short of breath, unable to sleep, aching, and running a temperature for days doesn’t appeal to me. However, I realized that living in fear of what MIGHT happen or what COULD happen rob you of so much – spending time with family, making memories, and enjoying all the beautiful world has to offer.
You just have to be smart, that’s all. So, in conclusion, get out there and see the world, support local businesses, State Parks, restaurants, and stores. Spend time with your family and friends and make memories you’ll be proud and overjoyed to spend the rest of your life with.
Just be sure to keep your hand sanitizers on standby!
~ Joi (“Joy”)
Island View Restaurant at Dale Hollow Lake State Resort Park