The Sticky Files - Marisca Bakker

Cold and flu season a doozy one

Marisca discusses the seemingly endless illnesses this year

Has anyone else felt that this cold and flu season started earlier than normal and seems to be hitting everyone harder?

The amount of school days my children have missed is insane. And when they do go, it seems like half of their class is home sick. It has been one sickness after another in my household.

Part of me thinks that isolating our kids for two years during the pandemic and then throwing them back into the wild with little to no immune systems might be to blame. Or maybe this is normal and we just aren’t used to it anymore.

Either way, tissue and tea companies must be doing well.

I know I can’t be alone in this because the B.C. Federation of Labour is calling on British Columbia to offer more paid sick days to eligible workers to help people cope.

I know so many parents who have used up all of their sick days just to stay home and care for their children.

Last month, weekly admissions were 50 per cent higher across the country than at the record peak for at least the past seven flu seasons.

Experts say the dominant subtype this year, influenza A subtype H3N2, is known to cause more severe illness than do other common strains.

But no one really knows if the rapid increase in cases will also mean a rapid decrease later in the flu season. One can only hope.

My children have had runny noses for more than a month. And their little sneezes are cute and gross all at the same time.

I’ve lost count the numbers of times I’ve said, ‘bless you.’ But it got me wondering, why do we say that after someone sneezes?

According to the world wide web, there are two possible origins of the phrase.

The first is that people used to believe a sneeze caused someone to expel their soul out of their body, and so “God bless you” or “Bless you” was used as protection against the devil snatching your soul.

The other possible origin was the bubonic plague. During the middle ages in Europe the Black Death was widespread and often fatal, so people would offer a short prayer to someone who sneezed because they might not be living much longer.

Instead, some people say “Gesundheit,” after someone sneezes, which is the German word for health. My daughter yells COVID after someone sneezes so I’m trying to steer her into saying something else maybe, slightly more polite.

At least now I can teach her about the origins.