Since I Never Get the Flu - Am I the Omega Man?
Does anybody have natural immunity to the flu?
Various versions of influenza – the seasonal flu, avian flu and swine flu – are knocking people down left and right. Too bad for them, I’m sorry. But, fortunately, I never get the flu. The only flu I’ve ever gotten was that 24-hour stomach flu when I was in my teens. It seems everybody gets that!
What’s my secret?
Well, I’m an American male in my sixties, never married and have no children. I don’t live a wonderfully healthy lifestyle – I’m not Mormon, Buddhist, vegetarian or vegan - but I don’t trash my body on a regular basis either.
Current medical theory states that nobody has natural immunity to diseases such as influenza, because such ailments are caused by those nasty little viruses, and if you want to avoid them you must get regular flu shots.
Well, I’ve never had a flu shot. I shouldn’t need a flu shot this season or any other season, though many people disagree with me. My reasoning is that flu shots actually make some people sick, and many flu shots are not very effective. For example, according to the Center for Disease Control, the flu shot for the 2014 – 2015 season is only 23 per cent effective for all age groups.
Actually, according to a show I watched on PBS the other night, people can develop some immunity to the flu from being exposed to the viruses over time. Thus the H1N1 virus attacked more young people than old. This may be the case with the H3N2 virus as well.
Therefore, I decline to get a flu shot because of personal and scientific reasons.
Nevertheless, what seems to work more times than not is lowering one’s susceptibility to disease. Sounds good to me – and relatively cheap. Here’s what I do:
Get Regular Exercise
Since I was in my early twenties, I’ve gotten regular aerobic exercise. I don’t pump iron or do calisthenics – who wants to do that crap! – I simply walk, jog, roller skate or run at least three to four days a week, preferably for 45 minutes or more. (Swimming would work very well too.) And make sure you get outside in the fresh air and sunshine, a routine which seems conducive to good health. Ask all the so-called experts.
Eat a Balanced Diet
Since I’m a bachelor, I’ve consumed tons of TV dinners, so maybe you should do the same. I’m not kidding! Try it. If you think you’re not getting enough nutrients in such culinary cuisine, take a one-a-day type vitamin. That’s all. Don’t waste your money on expensive supplements, because nobody’s proven their worth. Moreover, I’ve read that 85 per cent of our protection against disease comes from maintaining healthy gut flora, so by all means keep your digestive tract in good order any way you can. I've always eaten plenty of yogurt, which contains "probiotics," known to be helpful to one’s gastrointestinal system.
Get Plenty of Rest
Most of us don’t get enough rest, so I’ve read anyway. That’s probably because there’s so much blasted noise these days! I usually get enough of sleep, but when I don’t I seem able to cope anyway. How do I do that? I don’t know what I’d do without good old caffeine! Consume plenty of that, what the heck, if you want to be like me.
I try to lower stress whenever possible. Exercise is great for relieving stress and staying loose. (I can’t overemphasize its benefit.) You can party a little too; I’ve certainly done my share of it. But don’t over-do it. What does “over-do it” mean? You decide. You’ll know. At any rate, definitely avoid the addictive stuff. You can also try meditation, playing music, reading or writing. Do any healthy activity you can to stay “lightly wound” and you’ll almost certainly feel better and thereby avoid maladies such as the flu.
Oh, yes, and I’ve always washed my hands regularly!
Well, that’s what I do to avoid getting the flu. If my body - unique in some ways, I guess - produces antibodies that nobody else has, I couldn’t tell you how it does it. Maybe I am a kind of Omega Man, though I doubt it.
Hey, perhaps somebody should take a sample of my blood for analysis and do a study or something. Since people are dying, it's the least I can do.
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© 2009 Kelley Marks