Get the flu. No, not the flu shot, the flu. Go make out with that sick person who insists on coming into your office brimming with disease. Stop washing your hands and reach out to as many people as you can with those dirty little digits. Grab onto grandma and hold her extra close when she gives you a big hug that leaves you smelling of lavender and B.O. The next time someone sneezes, take as deep a breath as possible and see if you can position yourself with your mouth open in case they have one or two more to fire out.
In today’s age of ubiquitous use of anti-bacterial cleansers, hand sanitizers, and consumption of bottled water, we’ve bought a one-way ticket to catastrophic failure of the human immune system. When I was a kid, I drank water out of the garden hose, got dirty, sneezed into my hands, and had my mom spit on a Kleenex to clean something off my face. Guess what? Because of that my immune system developed all sorts of antibodies that lets it kick a crazy amount of ass these days. For any given year, I get truly sick maybe once and have to take a day off (no I’m not counting the occasional snuffed nose or hangover). The rest of the time, my body mounts a defense that fends off the bacterial and viral infections that roam the halls of our homes, offices, schools, malls, churches, synagogues, mosques, movie theatres, and roller discos.
The problem is that today we’re bombarded with the foolish notion that the only way to fight disease is to kill it before our immune systems have a chance to repel it. So cleansers were developed to keep all surfaces we touch 99.9% free of bacteria. Anyone stop to think what touching those chemicals and inadvertently ingesting them does to our bodies? Then there’s the hand sanitizers that kill all the bacteria on your skin including the naturally-occurring bacteria that attacks foreign invaders. So now, not only have we fought the disease before it reaches us, we’ve decided to cripple our own immune systems. Wicked, because I like a challenge. Finally, there’s bottled water which contains none of the non-life-threatening bacteria found in virtually all non-bottled water supplies. So we deny our bodies the opportunity to develop tolerances and immunities to these bacteria and put ourselves at risk of becoming sick if we need to drink non-bottled water. Brilliant.
I’m not going to rag on the flu shot because it safely exposes people to strains of disease which help our immune systems build up a resistance to infection. But, until my immune system starts to falter, I’m going to let those in need and at risk get it first. In the meantime, get the flu. It’ll save your life.