The first consideration for each of us is whether you are elderly, or if you have an underlying medical problem (like emphysema, chronic bronchitis, heart failure, or diabetes) or if you have a weakened immune system. This is common sense during cold and flu season if you are in a high-risk category. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost 61,000 people died in the United States of influenza in the 2017 – 2018 flu season. So, do we always need to be vigilant during flu season? Yes. Always. But fearful? No. Never.
We can’t do anything to turn back the hands of time and become younger. But we can do whatever our health care professional advises to keep any underlying medical problems well controlled. And we can do a lot when it comes to boosting our immune systems. Ooh. I think I hear some moans out there already. Some of the answers are simple, but not always easy to take to heart. Are you getting enough sleep, exercise, and water? The right amount of water is so important because our bodies must be working optimally to flush the body of any waste (including viruses and bacteria) and keep us strong. Eating more alkaline foods sets our bodies up to be less likely to develop inflammation and illness. (That was a spoiler alert for next month’s column.) Eating well, like avoiding sugar and eating lots of organic vegetables and fruit, provide the nutrients to our bodies that we need to fight off the crud that may head our way. Yes, I think crud is a technical medical word. Well, maybe not…
The bottom line here is that none of us should be making decisions from a position of fear. What will serve us well is a position of wisdom. We should be wise when it comes to travel of all sorts. We should be wise when it comes to properly washing our hands. We should be wise about not touching our mouths, eyes, or noses unless we have just washed our hands. We should be wise about seeing our health care professionals if we develop a severe cough, high fever, or shortness of breath. But above all, we should be wise to build our immune systems so that our bodies are more able to fight off any bacterial or viral infections.
For updates on statistics and for more details, check the CDC’s website cdc.gov.
Stay well and stay calm. Wisdom will serve you well
A Freeport local, Marty Kernion, Ph.D. is not a medical doctor. She has a doctorate in naturopathy. Naturopathy uses natural, gentle ways to bring our bodies back into balance so that they have the God-given ability to heal themselves. She is a retired professor of herbal medicine and nutrition and has written 39 college level courses in natural approaches to health. She has published two books on natural health. She can be reached on email@example.com for scheduling a class or consultation, or for sending in your questions for this column. This column is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace the advice of your health care professional.