Fighting the flu and winter are synonymous for plenty of people who feel like it is inevitability when the weather starts to cool, but it doesn’t have to be. The first step in trying to stay sniffles free is to get a flu shot but it’s not always fail-safe as recent news out of America reports; The Centre for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that the vaccine being used this year is only 50% - 60% effective.
With your flu-free odds being a little better than 50/50 it’s a good idea to boost your chances of staying healthy by employing some social distancing.
What is social distancing? An easy way to think about it is: taking all possible steps to avoid touching communal use surfaces like doorknobs and hand rails; staying clear of large social gatherings like sporting events and interpersonal contact like shaking hands or kissing.
Examples of where it has been used:
A recent study based on data gathered in Mexico during the 2009 outbreak of the H1N1 virus found that when the South American country’s government took the proactive steps to close schools and cancel sports games at stadiums, on a nationwide basis a few days into the outbreak, they had success in curtailing the outbreak among certain age groups. The measures were controversial, because to spite the growing mortality rates, many felt that this was an overreaction on the administration’s part.
What a professional has to say:
Above is a video interview with Gerald Chowell-Puente, assistant professor for the ASU School of Human Evolution and Social Change who was a researcher on the ground at the time of the outbreak in Mexico; in the clip, while he acknowledges some people’s reservations but that he feels that it was the right step to curb the epidemic.
Here are some tips if you have the flu and/or it’s infected the office and you’re trying to stay healthy:
7 ways that you can use social distancing to recover from the cold/not spread it
1. Avoid: travelling; large crowds, like those at concerts, and door handles or hand rails.
2. Stay at home if you get sick.
3. Give common use areas in the office like the break room or office kitchen a wide birth.
4. Try not to meet people face-to-face. Attempt teleconferencing or if possible video conferencing.
5. If you have to meet in person, minimize the meeting time, book a large room and sit at least one meter or more apart and do not shake hands or exchange any interpersonal greetings.
6. Bring lunch from home and eat at your desk instead of going to a crowded restaurant or going to a take-away place.
7. Wash your hands regularly or use hand sanitizer when you can’t and try not to touch your eyes or nose.