How the flu could be good for your health

Winnipeg Free Press - - TANK - MARY SCHMICH

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.