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Getting sick during the BER months

December is the season of jolly merriment. But as early as now, when the BER months came, most of my friends and loved ones began complaining of getting sick. I was unsurprised because, during the on-and-off rains in the past weeks, most employees at Mariners and JaimEliza reported having flu and begged off from work because of a cold, cough, and other respiratory illnesses.

The BER months is the typical cold season. During this fluctuating weather, when there is a sudden drop in temperature and humidity, viruses that cause colds spread more quickly. For most people, a quick change in weather could trigger colds, allergies, or other respiratory illnesses. I dread going straight off to airconditioned offices after staying out on a warm day, and then suddenly comes a heavy downpour when you least expect it. Fluctuating weather happens more frequently, with monsoon rains and hot weather coming quickly one after the other.

Being in close contact with a suspected flu carrier is a red flag. At one of our outings two weeks ago, my husband sat at a cafe beside a lady who kept silently coughing, with her hands gently covering her mouth. Irritated, my hubby changed seats. The lady and company may have felt slighted because they gave “agom” a long, hard look. My hubby could be a bit bitchy, hahaha. The day after, he was sneezing, with a slight cough in between, and feeling feverish.

The pandemic has taught people to become more sensitive to the signs of the times. Rule number one is prevention, and prevention means avoidance of triggers. Avoiding close contact with people who have the flu, wearing a face mask, covering the mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing, and keeping hands clean and disinfected are but a few of the preventive measures. But do it with kindness and if need be, a smile.

These days, I have a whole pack of white face masks in one of my bags. I found another pack of black-colored masks, which I now regularly use for work. TBM is known for its regular PAGHERAS activities, which involve sharing goodies or help whenever the occasion calls for it. My regular PAGHERAS now consists of giving away free face masks whenever I encounter suspected carriers anywhere I am.

It is best to be extra cautious as we hit the last few months of the year, the so-called BER months of September, October, November, and December. These months bring the onset of illnesses common in tropical climates. The intermittent shift from dry to wet season also poses a health threat as viruses thrive and move about. Ah, this is climate change at work. One never knows if the whole day will be warm, cold, humid, sunny, or rainy.

Getting sick and getting healed

Being sick is a normal body process of cleansing. According to health authorities, during the BER months, one should be more alert about the rise of dengue, influenza, and gastroenteritis, all caused by viruses. All who get sick exhibit fever, body aches, and body malaise. Getting sick doesn’t mean one is unhealthy or becomes a health liability at home or work. Temporarily, one gets disabled and bedridden because of the change in weather and exposure to viruses. But it is not life-threatening. Protecting ourselves from these viruses—by frequent hand washing to staying hydrated, eating simple, nutritious foods, and keeping a healthy lifestyle can keep us away from the woes of the Ber months.

Getting healed is the mission and goal. Being innovative with a DRRM or Boy Scout mindset to go around the “sick” cycle is a must. I have my natural medicine cabinet with me all the time. I have packs of face masks. There are roller bottles of E-Sense Essential oils from citronella, lemongrass, pili, and peppermint, the number one stress and cold relief. My ever-dependable Quantumine drops, Miramin Plus, PODIS Citronella pure oil to drive away mosquitoes, and PODIS Hydrosol as disinfectant. Colorful tubers of vitamins C plus Zinc, Vitamin B-complex + Vitamin E, Vitamin D3 with Calcium, and CQ10 from Watsons are wonderful delights for my bottled JaimeLyme water. FDA-approved Turmeric and Sambong capsules are handy for body aches and colds. Kamjus alternate with Picu juice from JaimEliza’s, my natural soda. Altogether, I have to know my body when I need any of these natural and certainly not synthetic remedies.

Eating well-balanced foods with vegetables, everything organic, lots of water to hydrate and avoiding fast and processed foods keeps the doctor away. Don’t forget getting lots of morning sun, walking a thousand steps a day, relaxing with good music and creative arts, nature tripping, and having positive, like-minded friends and networks around. Have a regular medical checkup. Add a good massage at Trankilo and needlework from a licensed acupuncturist at least once a month. Prevention is the rule. But a cup of freshly grounded and brewed hot coffee starts my day.

Most of all, volunteerism in serving others, especially the needy and marginalized, sharing a warm smile and kindness to the weary, a happy disposition, prayerful moments, and love for everyone- that is life’s best medicine as we approach December!


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