It’s a sickly time of year

Derrick Knutson

Derrick Knutson

Seemingly everyone I know is suffering from some type of virus or bacteria-induced malady right now. 

Coworkers are sick, and some family members just fought off a case of the winter crud, but knock on wood, I’ve escaped unscathed.

Maybe it’s because recent news reports and warnings from the Minnesota Department of Health have been playing on a loop in my head.

Normally, I’m not much of a germaphobe (not a real word, I know), but now I’m washing my hands after I touch just about anything.

Any surface could be teeming with icky stuff that wants to turn my immune system into a defense more inept than the Minnesota Vikings’ in a playoff game.

Knowing the type and volume of germs that linger on keyboards, phones, door handles and just about everything else people touch is truly terrifying.

The only answer to combat the slew of winter sickness bugs: buy a big, plastic bubble, hop inside and don’t come out until spring when allergens take over and make people feel almost as bad as the germs.

I’m being facetious, I know, but sometimes that’s what it feels like this time of year.

I read a press release from Fairview Lakes Medical Center that ran in our paper last week, and it prompted me to take a proactive approach to fighting the winter bugs.

The release noted there is a “surge” of influenza cases coming into the center over the past couple of weeks.

I’d been busy and hadn’t been able to find time to go get injected, but, realizing I could do something about the possibility of contracting the most well-known winter virus, I decided to get my flu shot at the Cambridge Medical center Friday.

The nurse there who administered the shot told me they’d seen about a two-fold increase in people coming in for the shot over the past few weeks.

A receptionist warned me about how germs stick to everything, and noted keyboards are pretty much cesspools of disgusting germs and viruses.

I washed my hands twice before leaving the clinic.

According to information provided at the medical center to me about the flu shot, it takes about two weeks before the vaccine ramps up to full defensive power.

Even then, a person can still get the flu.

But I figure the shot is better than nothing.

I’d like to avoid the fever, coughing body aches and nausea associated with the flu, if at all possible.

In addition to the flu shot, I plan to take the following steps to prevent contracting the flu and other illnesses:

• Wash my hands a minimum of 50 times a day.

• Spray everyone I know with Lysol or some other kind of disinfectant.

• Buy aforementioned plastic bubble.

• Invent microscope glasses so I can see, and subsequently dodge germs and viruses.

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