A century ago, the Spanish Influenza followed World War I veterans home to their native countries, infecting 500 million people worldwide, a third of the world’s population at the time. At least twenty million, and as many as fifty million people died from it between 1918-1919. Mass graves were dug and filled, cities were emptied, panic ruined economies, and national boundaries changed. Far from any large town or transportation hub, way back in the rugged Ozark hills in what is now a National Forest Wilderness Area, sits a hidden old family cemetery with around twenty graves in it. Three of them are my great-great-Uncles, and an Aunt, who died from the epidemic.

Today, a century later, hundreds  of people have died in the United States from the flu over the last two weeks, and the U.K. has been hit very hard as well, by “Japanese” and “Aussie” strains of the infection which American doctors just call “Type A” and “Type B”. Canada is under siege, as well. The flu shot given out last year to combat the expected outbreak, despite its side effects and potential health risks from mercury and formaldehyde and aluminum, is only 10-20% effective. The Centers for Disease Control, late as usual, has declared an epidemic, officially.

Here are the symptoms, to know whether you actually have the flu, or just a cold:

  • Fever or feeling feverish/chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.

Most people who die from the flu are weakened by it and succumb to pneumonia. Like with the black plague and other epidemics, people are panicking from this flu. They are not going to work or school, they are afraid to visit their sick friends, they are wearing masks in public when they do venture out, and medical science is limited in what it can do to fight the disease. Tamiflu doesn’t do much. Antibiotics may be prescribed, as well as Potassium Chloride in an IV drip to strengthen the body and help it fight off the invasion, but there is no cure. Breathing treatments using prednisone, a steroid, may help break up the lung congestion using a nebulizer.

If you do contract the flu, don’t lie flat on your back and let your lungs deflate and fill with fluid. Try to sit up or stand up and move as much as possible. Breathe deeply to keep your lungs exercised. Drink plenty of fluids to thin the mucous and make it easier to expectorate through coughing. Don’t take cough reducing medicine, you NEED to cough the congestion out of your lungs. Try to avoid spreading it to others, though, by reducing your exposure to them. It can be deadly. It has been, for dozens, already.

If you don’t yet have the flu, take supplements such as Vitamin C, Zinc, and Echinacea.  Add Vitamin D, American Ginseng, Selenium, and NAC, an amino acid and antioxidant sold as a nutritional supplement. If that’s a bit much for you, eat and drink citrus. Have a banana. Use hand sanitizer after contact with anything public. And avoid being coughed and sneezed and breathed on by people you don’t have to be swapping bodily fluids with.