by Jashar Rentz
Every year it happens twice. No matter what I do, or how much I try, I get sick twice a year. Once in the fall. Once in the spring. I’m not sure if this is every teacher’s experience, but it has certainly held true for me. There is something overpoweringly magical about that combination of germs swapping around in the various classrooms and corridors and cafeterias that my poor immune system just can’t handle.
And I’m a hand-washer too; I usually wash between classes, and use whatever sanitizer is available throughout the day. The fact is, teachers get in close contact with hundreds of kids each day. We also handle documents that have probably been touched by “less than sanitary” hands in the recent past. So today I’d like to offer some advice to two types of people: first, people who work in jobs like mine, where you have close contact with lots of people; and second, parents of public school students.
First to the people whose jobs are overcome with people daily, I would like to say that there is nothing you can do to prevent yourself from getting sick. Get over it or find a new job. The good news is that there are a bunch of things you can do to avoid it as much as possible, and also to reduce the span and intensity of those times when you are sick. First, you should remember to drink plenty of water, get a reasonable amount of rest, and stay warm in dry in the cold wintry season. Wash your hands frequently. Also, if you are like Lebron James and I (we are both chronic nail-biters), you will have to consciously try to limit hand to mouth or hand to eye contact as much as possible. I’m also a big fan of a big, homemade batch of Chicken Soup to help get me extra nutrients and vitamins. Pho’ is also wonderful, as the spicy broth feels great on parched throats and clears the sinuses briefly. The other thing that I do religiously when I start to get sick is…whatever my wife tells me! Usually that involves taking Super-Immuno Tone, a natural supplement that we carry here at Alpine Integrated Medicine. I pound a bunch of it before I go to bed, and I wake up feeling significantly better. It works every time.
Second, for the parents out there with kids in school, my first piece of advice is to keep your child home when they are sick. I know what you’re going to say…what if they miss too much? How will they catch up? Trust me, if your child emails the teacher and says that they are sick and asks for work or help, they will get it. If they don’t, I’d be questioning the teacher. The fact is that kids don’t have the best hygiene, and they touch each other all day (much to my chagrin). Mouths are not covered. Sneezes are not blocked by a tissue. Papers and notes with germs are passed around frequently. Basically, school is the last place you should be when you are sick. Better to stay home for two days and get over it than to come in and infect everyone else. Beyond that, I think talking to kids about the spread of germs is good, and encouraging them to wash hands between each class or use sanitizer, encouraging them to cover their coughs and sneezes, and to avoid too much contact with other students who they know to be sick.
So, to close for the moment, I guess what I’m advocating to for folks to just be conscious of the fact that they are sick and do the basics. Take your Super Immuno-Tone, and eat your chicken soup. Stay home when possible when you are sick. You’ll feel better, and so will everyone else around you!