AS I WRITE THIS, Berni and I have been down with The Great Flu of 2018 for more than two weeks. This is a particularly virulent version of the flu, and while I can’t accurately say that I was knock, knock, knocking on Heaven’s Door, I can honestly say like it felt like I could see that fearsome portal.
I lost more than twenty pounds during the peak illness, unable to keep down any food and most of the water I sipped for days. (My neighbor lost twenty-five pounds during the same period with the same illness.)
This brief piece is here as a warning to those readers who have not had the flu yet!
Beware: the early-onset symptoms to be wary of are constant headache, constant cold (especially if you feel like you need a sweater indoors even when the heat is on), and constant lethargy.
If you’re feeling these things, don’t fight it: stay home, stay warm, stay hydrated.
Needless to say, I was incapacitated during this time, hence my absence from my blogs.
Go to your search engine, type in “flu 2018,” and you’ll find countless articles about the disease and its insidious effects around the world. I am quoting below from the CBS News article “2018 flu season appears to hit deadly peak” by Ashley Welch (and was last updated on January 12, 2018, at 10:58 PM EST).
“This year’s flu season has been dominated by a particularly nasty bug, and health officials say it has now reached almost every corner of the country. In a press conference on Friday morning, the CDC says flu season appears to be peaking.
Flu is now widespread in every state except Hawaii. While experts say the flu season may have reached its peak, they warn it will take many more weeks for flu activity to truly slow down.
This year’s flu season has been dominated by the H3N2 strain, which is linked to more severe illnesses especially among adults over the age of 65 and children younger than 5.
Deaths in states across the country are 4 to 8 times what they were last year at this time from the flu on 2017!
Hospitalizations are also on the rise, particularly among adults over the age of 50 and children under the age of 5. Some hospitals in California have been so overwhelmed that they had to send patients to other ERs.
If you haven’t gotten your flu shot yet, officials say it is not too late. Other common-sense practices can help you avoid getting sick and prevent the spread of the flu:
• Avoid close contact with sick people.
• While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible.
• Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
• Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water.”
FEATURED IMAGE: The image at the top of this page is a photograph of a flu virus from “The Flu Virus is More Insidious Than Originally Thought” by Melissa Malamut for Boston Magazine (October 24, 2013).