In the course of the past few months, hardly a day has gone by without the mention of Ebola. News of the virus and its victims has overtaken our country, taking priority on our major media outlets and invading our daily lives. Tune into any television or radio news channel and you are almost guaranteed an update on the death toll, the number of people infected and the mounting civil unrest in affected countries.
The incessant focus on Ebola has already started to take effect in our country. Even though we lie an ocean away from the outbreak, two schools have cancelled classes for fear of infection and politicians have championed misguided attempts to ban flights to and from West Africa. While it’s rational to want to protect ourselves from the deadly disease, we must not let Ebola distract us from more prevalent illnesses this time of year, like the flu.
The seasons are changing and everyone is susceptible to the sicknesses that crop up around this time of year. We think it is crucial that everyone begins preparing for the coming flu season and to take the appropriate courses of action to protect themselves and those around them from contracting any sickness.
Everyone should make sure to get their flu shot. If you’re not from the area and don’t have a local doctor to go to, various pharmacies offer free flu shots throughout the season.
Even if you do get the flu shot, everyone should keep in mind basic hygiene principles to avoid the spread of germs. Wash your hands frequently (especially before meals); cover your mouth or nose when coughing or sneezing; avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth; and avoid contact with people who may be sick.
If you do get the flu this season, please stay at home. At Drexel, it’s not easy to skip classes or take off from co-op, but our health should be a top priority. Staying home will not only prevent the spread of germs to others, but will aid in a quicker recovery.