The Flu Visits The Island
Alas, my island paradise is not immune from the ills of the world, figuratively and literally.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve watched news outlets report on the epidemic outbreak of flu in the United States, seeing maps of the country covered in red to indicate how widespread the illness is this season. I remember my days of bitter Midwestern winters, colds and flu spreading rampantly throughout office settings, entire families beset by illness as the kids brought germs home from school, etc.
My island home feels a world away. Indeed, I’ve been reminded how fortunate I am to live in a place that promotes a healthy lifestyle – tons of fresh air, fresh fish, small community. However, we also have . . . tourists.
Now, this is not a bad thing. Quite the opposite. The primary economy of this island – and the entire Bahamas – is tourism. The tourists are what make this a thriving economy and a vibrant place to live! Moreover, my very first footstep onto this island so many years ago was as a tourist. It’s how it all began.
Nonetheless, it seems the only time I ever get sick anymore is after “prime time” holidays when the island is flooded with visitors.
New Year’s Celebrations
Over the new year’s holiday, our little cay was full to capacity with rental cottages, sailboats dotting nearby anchorages, yachts filling the local marina and lots of people out at lots of events. Of course, it was a grand old time! But it also meant more STUFF in the air and being in close contact with many more people than usual.
I was relieved to have made it through the busy holiday without feeling the onset of any tingling ears or scratchy throat or weird aches.
And then . . .
It found me. The flu knocked on my door. It started slowly, and I was determined to fight it! Mind over matter and all that positive thinking.
Hurrumpf. It still got me.
First order of business, return to bed. Beau was supportive of this move. The only one who expressed concern was Angel. Unused to me lying about all day – or more accurately, unused to not being the center of my attention all day – she kept fussing at me. Finally, just to keep her quiet, I simply pulled her up into the bed with me!
Beau stopped home to check on me and shook his head at this scene. “You better not get used to this, Dog.”
Beau was right. Angel acclimated all too well, and I relegated her back to the floor by Day 2 because she was already starting to exhibit a sense of entitlement!
Meanwhile, Beau kept me fed with hearty island food, made me eat fruit and drink Theraflu. I also plied myself with Vitamin C and JuicePlus, which my mother advocates heartily. (Bush medicine still works its magic around here, too, but I thought I was making out okay so didn’t seek out any special herbal remedies.)
Through it all, the island setting remained beautiful. I actually found myself thinking it felt odd to be sick while it was pretty and warm outside, with no snow or dark skies in sight!
Before too much longer, I was feeling better. Craving my own version of comfort foods, I whipped up an oh-so-unhealthy, but oh-so-satisfying, meal.
Of course, Angel was never too far away.
All things considered, I got off easy. I never felt totally miserable and it was a fairly short duration. Through it all, I remained thankful that I am in the position to simply take it easy and rest and not get sicker.
Except, umm, I didn’t. As soon as I started feeling a little better, I was back at it! Up early, scrubbing floors, writing freelance articles, going to local meetings, drafting blog posts, and generally running around.
Last night, the sneaky flu took me down again. So now, I really will take it easy. I have missed blogging with you all, so I couldn’t resist putting this up, and I have a freelance deadline coming up, but other than that, I will REST and knock this out of my system once and for all.
I hope in all the corners of your worlds, you are resting, eating well, washing hands and staying healthy!