Don’t share your flu

Image from WorkSafeBC Video Don't Take Your Work Home With You

Image from WorkSafeBC Video Don’t Take Your Work Home With You


That’s what I heard – and slightly felt – from someone standing only a few inches away in the shoe aisle on a recent shopping trip.

I turned, instinctively, to look at her, and let’s just say my expression was not very friendly.

“Sorry,” she muttered with a snotty sniff, then went back to looking at shoes, as I practically ran away, holding my breath. Instantly I pictured the little animated viruses from the WorkSafeBC video Don’t Take Your Work Home With You and hoped I could outrun them.

How inconsiderate! Who would do that? But there she was, out and about, sneezing on people and putting her virus-y hands all over the shoes.

So far, as I write this post, it’s three days later, and I’m still feeling okay. Symptoms can hit one to four days after exposure, so I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

“Seasonal flu cases result in approximately 12,200 hospitalizations and, on average, 3,500 deaths in Canada each year,” reads Know the Flu Facts from Health Canada.

While most people recover within about 10 days, other people (like the elderly or immune-compromised) can be very ill and even at risk of death.

Health Canada advises people to:

* Get a flu shot
* Clean hands frequently
* Cough and sneeze into your arm, not your hand. If you use a tissue, dispose of it as soon as possible and wash your hands
* If you get sick, stay home
* Keep your hands away from your face
* Keep common surface areas – for example, doorknobs, light switches, telephones and keyboards – clean and disinfected
* Eat healthy foods and stay physically active to keep your immune system strong

That’s right: if you get sick, stay home – especially if it’s just a trip to browse for shoes. Sheesh!


2 thoughts on “Don’t share your flu

  1. Nadine Neil

    Great recommendations; however we shouldn’t jump to conclusions perhaps she was sneezing due to allergies? Perhaps someone nearby’s perfume?

    1. Susan Post author

      Yes, that’s true, come to think of it. But she didn’t have to blast the sneeze right onto me. I *felt* the whoosh of air from her nose and mouth.


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