And by poltergeist I mean the aggressive evil that is winter illness.
Seriously y’all, no chance I would ever fight a poltergeist. I know how that usually turns out for people like me. I’m slow. I’m slightly overweight. And, I’m black. My chances of survival in the supernatural realm are just undeniably low.
The illnesses skirting around my community this winter season have been news worthy.
Hundreds of kids out sick.
Barfing and coughing and feverish and sore.
I do plenty to keep the winter bugs from overtaking our home. In fact, short of hiring a small lady in glasses to come in and confront them Poltergeist style, we take numerous precautions and are quite diligent in our germ fighting battle (sigh, life with someone who suffers from OCD).
And yet, still we have to scrub puke from the floor and ceiling? in the middle of the night.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to help prevent the evil from infesting your abode. May the force be with you and all that jazz…
How to Fight a Poltergeist Winter Illnesses
1. Get serious about hand hygiene. I live in a place full of people who think the only time you really, truly need to wash your hands is after they use the toilet. A public one. Other than that, washing of hands is to be done nightly in the bathtub. That is all. We have installed hand sanitizers around the house because, while they won’t go near a fresh water source with their hands, they will happily spray some foamy stuff on them instead.
2. Stop sharing things. This one is quite easy for my children because THAT IS MYYYYYY COOKIE even though it wasn’t and if it was there’s no proof of that because it is stuck in a jar surrounded by 20 of its identical twin brothers. So exactly how do you know which one was “yours” anyway? Perhaps your kids are nicer and more generous, and if that is the case, make them stop it. At least during the germ transferring period that seems to run rampant during the winter.
3. Back up. Have you ever noticed how close kids stand when they talk to each other? And how much they touch? I know, it’s sweet to see your son and his BFFs all huddled together sharing secrets and junk looking at the iPod. And then one of them gets the flu and you know it’s only a matter of time. You can’t share air with someone that extensively and NOT catch whatever they’re brewing. Remind your kids to respect personal space, particularly during cold and flu season, and maybe you can worry a teeny bit less.
4. The magic of the Kohler Touchless Flush system. We installed (and by we, I mean me) a Touchless Flush system in our bathroom with the highest traffic. I’s affordable ($99), it went in easily (seriously, 15 minutes start to finish,) and it works perfectly. I did it initially because of the germs. I mean think how many people (family, friends, the cable guy) use that one bathroom! I don’t know the hand hygiene levels of all of those people, and the ones I do I already know I can’t trust. The Touchless Flush system works with a wave of your hand so no touching needs to occur at all and one more opportunity for germ transfer is removed. Added bonus? Thanks to the allure of the magic hand wave, my kids actually flush the toilet, something they’d given up on doing when the novelty of using the bathroom independently wore off around age 3.
5. Get a flu shot. I know, it makes you sick, or you get sick anyway, or blah. There is medical science behind the efficacy of flu shot that you can’t ignore in good conscious. Yes, it fails sometimes, but so does chemotherapy and I can’t imagine that many of you would not accept that if you were in a position where you needed it .Many people die from the flu every year. Certain people (like my son) are even more likely to suffer severe complications and even death from the virus. So, for us, getting the flu shot is not something we even have to think about, we do it, because it could easily save his life. Perhaps you’re not in a high risk category and getting it isn’t as much of a no brainer, I’d still urge you to think about it in terms of a financial investment. You can get the shot for free and it will potentially save you thousands of dollars in lost time and wages by preventing you from missing work for a week. And then another week while you care for your kids that you didn’t get it for.
*Disclosure: We received a Kohler Touchless Flush kit free of charge in order to try it out and consider telling all of you about it. If you’re looking for another cool way to add some awesome to your home while also fighting germs, check out the Reveal nightlight toilet seat. It illuminates the path to the bathroom and gives them a well lit target to aim their barf at. Win, win.