We are all aware of the predictions for this winter’s cold & flu season. Reminders and updates on the H1N1 virus and other strains of flu are on the news daily. Everywhere you go, someone is reminding you to be prepared for the worst.
Here’s a thought: instead of panicking, let’s try some faith. Meditating scriptures on healing and confessing that your family remains healthy this winter is essential to building faith for healing. But remember, faith without works is dead. You must also put some practical steps into action in order to have your confession come to pass.
Focus on your immune system by taking vitamins and getting plenty of rest. Not only does this boost your immune system, but it also requires you to grow in areas of self-discipline. You may have to put yourself under a little bit of law until these actions become a habit.
Avoiding sick people entirely isn’t a practical option when you are involved in ministry, have a family, and have a job. Instead, be aware of personal space and don’t get too close to those who you know are sick. Work extra hard to keep yourself and your environment germ-free if you cannot help being around sick people. Wash your hands; don’t touch the things sick people touched without cleaning them first; cover your mouth and nose if you cough or sneeze.
These all sound so simple, and you’re probably thinking, “She sounds like my mother!” But it’s amazing how many people don’t attend to the small things and end up finding themselves sick. Do you really know the best way to cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze? Most people cough or sneeze into their hands, but then your hands become germy. You should retrain yourself to cough or sneeze into the bend of your elbow (think of Batman covering his face with a cape!). This keeps your hands free of germs (and body fluids) so that you can continue what you were doing.
You should also remember that Clorox, isopropyl alcohol, and soapy water are your friends. Frequently clean the counter and any “public use” equipment used in your place of employment. Use those wipes at the grocery store to wipe off the buggy handles; you never know whose sick kid just had their mouth on that handle minutes before you touched it! Buy some disinfecting wipes and sprays to keep handy at home and in your car.
WASH YOUR HANDS!
Hand sanitizing gels are great when sinks and soap are not available. Keep some with you in case you can’t wash your hands right away after touching items that others may have touched. Just remember, the alcohol in them doesn’t kill every germ, so you still need to wash your hands frequently!
Staying healthy isn’t about staying germ-free all the time; it’s about killing the germs before they can infect you and your family. Leave your “work germs” at work so you don’t bring them home to your family. Stop putting things in your mouth (fingers, pens, tools, etc). I had a bad habit of biting my fingernails. Not too long after I started rotations to different pharmacies, I was getting a stomach virus about every 25 days. This went on for about 8 months until my mother-in-law suggested that the germs I was encountering in health care were living under my fingernails. When I put my fingers in my mouth, I was infecting and reinfecting myself with those germs. After accepting that bit of wisdom, I started using hand sanitizer many times during the day – partly to kill the germs on my hands, but mostly as a deterrent for putting my hands in my mouth, and I stayed well! I haven’t had a stomach virus in 15 months!!
Now, I’m not telling you to become a germaphobe, but I am saying be conscious of your surroundings. Rather than trying to use your faith to stop puking, coughing, or sneezing, try using your faith to stay healthy. Activate your faith by following these simple tips. Let’s be faithful (full of faith) and keep our families and ourselves healthy this winter!