Sure you get a sore throat, aches and pains, a runny nose and feel like you got hit by Rosanne Barr, but think of the excuses it gives.
You can get out of dinner with your in-laws or jury duty if you wish. When you are coughing and feverish, no one wants to see you, talk to you or shake your hand. They would prefer you hung a bell around your neck as lepers were once asked to do.
Influenza is not really fun, but you can look on the bright side.
Yes, it is difficult to think positively when feeling like drain hair, but it is better than dwelling on your possible imminent death. A positive outlook has even been shown to help ward off disease.
A major advantage earned by getting a strain of the flu is that, even though it morphs into another variety, you cannot get the same breed twice. This allows you to risk being around others with this year’s form — although there is a good chance there are several kinds of influenza around, in which case your bravado is foolhardy.
One recent medical discovery, besides the drug Tamiflu, is that you do not have to starve a fever. Once upon your childhood you needed to feed a cold and put a fever on a diet. Now, you can freely eat as you recover.
When you get the flu, which is not a rare experience, your first thought might be that you never will recover, and you begin contemplating your eulogy. Chances are very high that you will recuperate, by the way, so do not give up. Eat up.
Some of us do not want an excuse to miss work or receive a pass from serving on a jury, so we go get a flu shot. Flu shots do not give you the flu. Some rare people don’t feel great for a couple of days, but this is an immune reaction.
There are very few people who are not afraid of needles, but some of us are less afraid of needles than we are of illness. We go, roll up our sleeves and feel the pinch. That nanosecond is nothing compared to five days groaning on the couch.
And, there are negative aspects to the flu beyond the physical suffering. One is loneliness.
The people you want to kiss won’t kiss you. The people you wish to be around begin to avoid you. Your social life dwindles to nothing.
Certainly, isolation is better than passing germs along to friends and family. Because about the time you get well, they get sick. They also blame you. Thus, to expose others leaves you with a dry cough and guilt.
Although, you could tell them that rather than condemning you, they should thank you for getting them out of jury duty.
• Mike McLellan can be contacted by calling and leaving a message at 830-4231 or emailing him at DrMikeM@sbcglobal.net.