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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Fan the Flames

Bad enough the nightly news coverage of the Swine Flu ( more politically correctly known as H1N1 , so don't go blaming the pigs or avoiding pork chops for dinner) but on my 2 trips to the pharmacy I couldn't even walk through the door without nearly toppling a tower of hand sanitizers, surgical masks and Lysol. It's not unusual for companies to capitalize on people's fear of illness , and God forbid death , but the fear here and misinformation has reached pandemic proportions.

Since this is a blog about saving money here are my tips for keeping healthy ..period . No Special masks, sanitizers or disinfectants required .

1. Forget the masks but mind your hands. When you are out don't touch your face with your hands before washing them . Many diseases are spread by touching a contaminated object and then touching our own ( or our kid's ) mucous membranes. Paying $2.99 for one , disposeable surgical mask ( on sale at both Walgreens and CVS) is highway robbery and for most people completely unnecessary and even not at all helpful.

2. Wash your hands alot . No special soap required , and scalding hot water not needed. Make sure the water is warm and suds your hands well for 15 seconds minding the undersides of rings and nails. Soap doesn't kill bacteria or viruses it just helps to transport them off your hands and down your drain to die . Not going to be near a sink , carry a generic hand sanitizer ...the pricey ones wont work any better.

3. Avoid the crowds. People in close proximity to other people spread germs. Unfortuneatly people who are ill continue hanging out in crowded places so ...I guess it's up to the rest of us to do the avoiding.

4. Eat , Sleep and relax...stress lowers your immunity as does a lack of sleep and poor diet.

Hope we can all avoid getting sick and worse yet getting suckered in by the scare tactics some of our favorite stores are implementing to boost sales ..shame , shame , shame


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