What time is it? No, it’s not Howdy Doody time, but it is time for the start of the inevitable flu season. And since seasonal flu outbreaks can happen as early as October, the Mid-Columbia Senior Center is again offering flu shots in cooperation with Rite-Aid on Wednesday, Sept. 25, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Call the Center to reserve a 5-minute time slot, or just drop in.
The flu vaccine is the best way to avoid the flu and avoid becoming one of the over 200,000 Americans who are hospitalized with the flu every year.
To maximize effectiveness, flu vaccines are updated before each flu season to protect you against the flu viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season. But even in a well-matched year, the flu vaccine is only 60 to 90 percent effective.
Therefore, you should take these additional steps to help protect yourself from the flu and other viruses.
1. Wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and water and use an alcohol-based sanitizer if soap and water aren’t available.
2. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth whenever possible.
3. Avoid crowds when the flu is most prevalent in your area.
4. Sneeze into your elbow, not your hands.
5. Practice good health habits: get plenty of sleep, exercise regularly, drink plenty of fluids, eat a nutritious diet and manage your stress—which are also the basics for good heart and brain health.
If you do start experiencing flu symptoms, seek medical advice quickly to determine if you need treatment with antiviral drugs, since they should be administered early.
But how do you know if you have the flu or just a cold? It is hard to tell, because colds and flu share many symptoms: fever (but not always), cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, fatigue; and some people may also have vomiting and diarrhea. The primary difference is that cold symptoms are generally milder than the symptoms of flu.
And no, you can’t get the flu from a flu shot. But after receiving your flu vaccination, you could develop flu-like symptoms: Low-grade fever, headache and muscle aches.
There are several possible reasons. You may have a cold and not the flu. You may have caught the flu during the two weeks before the flu shot took effect. Or the flu virus you picked up is not one used for the vaccine.
The flu vaccine will not totally eliminate the possibility of the flu, but it will lower your risks. And that’s a big deal now that we are older. Some ailments we once thought were just inconvenient can have serious health implications.
Since I am writing about preventative vaccines, don’t forget to get your Shingles vaccine, especially now that the newer more effective version of the vaccine is available. And make sure you are up to date with your pneumococcal vaccination, since one of the flu-related complications that can cause death is pneumococcal pneumonia.
The name of the sport that was popular in the late 50’s and 60’s (and is experiencing a revival with our own Gorge Roller Girls), consisting of two teams that included jammers, blockers and a pivot for two-minute periods called “jams” and played on an oval track was Roller Derby. I received correct answers from Carol Earl, Cheri Brent, Lana Tepfer, Jerry Phillips, Barbara Cadwell, Julie Carter (who remembers her mom cheering on the Bay Area Bombers), and several others who told me the correct answer, but I failed to write down their names. And this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket is Rhonda Spies, whose grandmother took her to see Roller Derby live at the Armory in Salem.
There were many memorable TV jingles introduced in the 50’s and 60’s. For this week’s “Remember When” question, the TV jingle first introduced in the early 60’s that went “Plop, Plop, Fizz, Fizz” advertised what product? Email your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send it with a recording of “The Red Rubber Ball,” sung by The Cyrkle, whose band member Tom Dawes wrote the jingle.
Well, it’s been another week, trying to stay awake at 3 p.m. Until we meet again, do you ever feel you can recall more of what happened in your dreams than what happened last week?
“We are on earth to fart around. Don’t let anybody tell you different.”
—Kurt Vonnegut, writer
Meals-on-Wheels dinner served at noon at the Center.
Thursday (19): (Spaghetti with Meat Sauce (Music – Tom Graff)
Friday (20): Philly Beef with Sauté Onions and Mushrooms
Monday (23): Salisbury Steak
Tuesday (24): Chicken Pot Pie
Wednesday (25): Meatloaf with Gravy