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Prepare for seasonal sickness

As I sit at my kitchen table Saturday morning reflecting on the much-appreciated 40-degree temperature outside and watching the leaves fall in the dawn light, I’m sneezing violently and filling the quiet house with foghorn-level nose blows.

Seems the crud has started to work its way around Oxford. Whether it is the start of fall allergies with the changing oak leaves or the start of a virus circulating, it’s here.

I encourage everyone to get a flu shot who can get one. I got mine for free at a health fair in Tupelo earlier in the week and have every year since around the third grade. Having asthma, I need every protection possible from the killer flu, which is what the shot protects against. There have only been two or three times I have come down with the flu since first getting the shot as a child. One of those times was last year when the shot didn’t protect against every single strain. It put me out of work for a week, sidelined me to the bed and infiltrated my lungs. It truly didn’t go away for a month or two and I was a sluggish beast. I’m not a spring chicken, so I can’t fight things quite as well anymore, but I can only imagine how horrible it would be for a senior citizen to get the flu. I highly recommend everyone get the shot and take whatever safety measures they can to stay healthy this fall and winter.

Speaking of health, the highlight of my week was working on an article for our Oct. 30 Good Health magazine. My topic was eye health. I picked it because I know I neglect getting my vision exam as often as I should and I figured it might inspire and/or scare me to spend the money and make an appointment. One of my biggest take-aways from that article was an informative tidbit from a doctor who will remain nameless. That doctor sometimes has to tell patients that contact lenses are like underwear.

Some people don’t like or are offended by that correlation, but really, folks, think about it. They are.

The Centers for Disease Control has a really great graphic that you can Google if you are interested, otherwise, I’ll give you the highlights.

“Don’t over-wear. Avoid that sketchy pair. Carry a spare.”

“Cover your butt. Take care of your eyes.”

Over time contact lenses pick up bacteria and if you stick that into your eye, you’re asking for trouble. You wouldn’t wear used underwear, so why take that chance with your eyes?

Just something to ponder.

Stephanie Rebman is editor of the Oxford EAGLE. Contact her at stephanie.rebman@oxfordeagle.com.