Flu rages on
I thought it was safe to go back to the gym.
I’ve skipped the month of January because flu has been at epidemic levels for several weeks now, and just isn’t slowing down like it normally does after a week or two.
And because last year I’m sure I caught the flu at the gym, I’m being more cautious.
But when I arrived at the gym early last Friday morning, I passed two women hanging around one of the treadmills and overheard their conversation.
“I don’t know why I came in today. I just don’t feel good.”
“Maybe you’ll feel better after you exercise.”
“No, I haven’t felt good for a couple of days. I’m sure *cough cough* I’m sick.”
“You sound awful. You should go home.”
You think?! And please stop touching all the equipment, too!
I whipped my travel hand sanitizer out of my gym bag and immediately cleansed my hands.
Continue to practice good health hygiene
I don’t know if this woman had the flu, a cold or some other illness, but it doesn’t matter. Anyone who is sick or thinks they may be sick should just stay home and prevent spreading contagious germs to other people. Especially people who might be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill, like infants, the elderly and those with suppressed immune systems (chemo patients, for example).
I’ve posted before about staying home from school or work if you or the kids are sick, and I know from the comments I received that many employers actually punish employees who miss work.
I think that’s lousy policy, and I hope this year’s bad flu season causes those employers to rethink their policies. (Sadly some of the worst employers in this regard are hospitals and other health care providers.)
But if you can stay home when sick, please do. Not only will you get better faster if you rest, you may prevent someone else getting sick.
And if you aren’t sick, and flu is still epidemic in your community (check your local public health department), keep washing your hands and avoid crowded areas like gyms, shopping malls and movie theaters.
Related post: Tips to prevent colds and flu
Another nurse rants
I’m not the only nurse out there ranting about the casual spread of germs.
If you haven’t already seen it, this video by a tired, frustrated emergency room nurse after a long night’s shift is worth watching.
(By the way, a hospital emergency room is another place to definitely avoid if you don’t want to be exposed to all kinds of “funky” germs.)