How the flu could be good for your health
LET us pause today to praise the flu.
When I felt the bug sneaking up on me a few days ago, my first response was to do what I always do when sickness creeps in: I refused to believe it.
Fever? Chills? Must be my imagination talking. Sore throat, cough, inexplicable exhaustion? Figments of my fevered brain.
“Knock it off,” I heard a disembodied voice say. I recognized the speaker. Who else? My dearly departed drill sergeant of a father.
In the household of my childhood, saying you were sick was an evil as great as lying, a turpitude that had a special name.
“You’re goldbricking!” my father, who learned a lot of his favourite vocabulary in the U.S. army, would scold when one of his children claimed to be too ill to go to church or school, too sick to wash the dishes or mow the lawn.
In case it’s not clear, “goldbricking” is an old-fashioned synonym for “shirking,” and my father’s children learned that unless your temperature was high enough to crack the thermometer, you were well enough to do your duty.
In my father’s defence, I should add that he applied the same stern standard to himself.
So it was with a certain shame the other day that after Googling “flu symptoms” and verifying that I had every single one, I concluded I was too sick to work.
If you’ve had the flu, you know what I’m talking about. It leaves you feeling you’ve been run over by a car, then by a truck and then, just as you thought you could get up, by a lawn mower.