This is an excerpt from my City Paper article before the Avian flu was supposed to hit in 2005.
No Flu for You
my unscientific survival guide to outmanuever H1N1 and other viral mutants.
1. Exercise. There is an adage that dancers don’t get sick; the reason is exercise. Explosive physical activity stimulates the immune system.
2. Clean. My mother was right, after all. Like many a valiant soldier in the germ war, she disinfected her house within an inch of her four dirty kids’ lives. (And don’t forget to wash your hands like a surgeon.) My parents were wrong, though: Keep your house colder and allow drafts to circulate. Nothing incubates airborne microbes faster than a hot, closed-up house.
3. Be Zsa Zsa! dauglingk, as in Gabor, by air-kissing people you aren’t sleeping with. And for those who are sexually active, invent new ways for safe sex to include protection against upper respiratory communicable viruses. Yes, face condoms might be the answer.
4. Be Spartan. Don’t clasp fingers if you must shake hands; grab the forearms like a Roman centurion. Otherwise wear gloves — kid gloves for meals, rubber or latex for shopping or outings, and black cloth or leather for evening wear. variant- fist bumps if under 30.
5. Be Fruity. Consume lots of fruit, such as apples and blueberries, which contain agents that improve your circulation. Squeeze your own grapefruit and orange juice. Eat yogurt and hot cereals.
6. Be Vampiric. Eat a bloody steak. Bluebloody in fact.
a. Be gypsy- Eat raw garlic and anything in the onion and pepper family.
7. Be Russian. If it is snowing, take the garbage out in your underwear and rub snow on your chest (you too, ladies). By getting frigid, or taking cold showers, you’re stimulating the immune system. Read Anna Karenina or watch the film versions with Greta Garbo or Vivien Leigh.
8. Be Tantric. Practice deep yogic breathing daily. It’s disgusting but effective. Especially the exercises that require forceful exhalations. It clears the nasal passages and helps keep the lower lungs clear.
9. Be Sousey. I was a bartender for years and here’s the exclusive RECIPE just for my doves. Simmer green tea with fresh ginger, oranges, lemons and buckwheat honey. Boil rye-flavored brandy, Irish whiskey, orange liquor and Benedictine. Pour all of the ingredients into a large teapot. Steep. Keep hot and sip. Pass out.
10. Be smart. get any available flu shot before or during the season. There are dozens of different flu viruses and the shot usually protects against the most common types.