Learn English – What do you do in flu, cold and allergy season to stay healthy?

Do you get sick in the fall, when the days start getting cooler? Do you suffer with allergies?  What about the flu?  Using slow English and lots of images, let’s talk about ways to stay healthy, especially now during Covid!


Hey there, it’s that time of year again –  flu season. And for some people, allergy season. And on top of that, this year, 2020, there’s COVID. What do you do to stay healthy?

(Intro: English without Fear where you can learn to speak English naturally, through listening to stories.)

I just returned from a week in Tampa, Florida. I flew down there to take care of two of my granddaughters while their mom and dad went on a trip to celebrate their anniversary. But poor Chloe who is 11 years old was not feeling well. She suffers from allergies and the allergies had turned into a cold. She was miserable.

What was she doing? What had her mother started doing to help her feel better, to help her recover? Well, for one thing, she was taking a product that you can buy at the pharmacy or the drugstore without a doctor’s prescription. And it is called, let me check, Oscillococcinum. That’s a long word. Here’s the picture. And it’s supposed to lower and minimize, make better, the symptoms that are like for the flu.

She was taking that, she was taking something for a stuffy nose, poor thing. She had Kleenex tissue paper to blow her nose that had lotion in it. She was taking vitamins. She was trying to get enough sleep. But that’s difficult when you have school and lots of homework.

But the one thing that seemed to help the most she did on Monday, that first school day. She went to school because she had no fever. We had, we have to take temperatures during the COVID crisis right now. She went to school, but came home feeling pretty miserable, pretty uncomfortable. So, she had the good idea: “I’m going to soak my feet in hot water.”

And that’s what we did. She sat on the sofa. I filled up a big ………..container with warm water and she put her feet in it and leaned back and dozed. She took a little nap for about twenty-five minutes, fell asleep. That made all the difference. Later that night after dinner, she was feeling perky. What’s perky? – energetic. And she slept well. And the next day she went to school and felt much better.

During the week she kept getting better and better. So, the hot water, soaking the feet in hot water, really seemed to be the turning point. Do you know what that means, a turning point? The point at which she started to feel better and improve. So, that got me thinking about what we do to prevent colds and the flu.

My first year of teaching, way back when, I came down with the flu. I had no idea how awful the flu was. Aches and pains and fatigue. And after that experience, after recovering, I decided: “From now on, I’m going to get a flu shot every year in the fall, in the autumn.” And I have never had the flu since. 

I asked Chloe, I said to her: “Chloe, what about a flu shot? Have you and your sister and your parents, have you all had a flu shot? And she said: “No, my mommy doesn’t believe it’s good to get a shot.”

Her mom’s decision, but we always get a flu shot.

That makes me think –  what will she do, what will her family do when a vaccine for COVID comes out? What will you do? I will probably get one. And my husband, too. Though, I have talked with one doctor and one nurse who are not going to get a COVID vaccination because they think the development has been too quick to be safe. But I have talked to two nurses who said: “Of course, we’re going to be vaccinated.” That’s a personal decision everybody has to make for themselves.

But what do Mike, my husband, and I do to stay healthy, to prevent colds. We hardly ever have a cold. Number one, and I think the most important, is we take really good quality vitamins all the time. We’ve been taking good quality vitamins for decades, ever since we were in our twenties.  I actually budget, I set aside a hundred dollars ($100) a month for the two of us for good quality vitamins. We probably take between eight and 10 different kinds. But the kind right here are the best to prevent colds. Or if you have a cold starting to take them. 

There’s vitamin C, Zinc, Echinacea and vitamin D3. This is what you hear about for COVID all the time – ‘Take vitamin D3!’ We’ve been taking vitamin D3 anyway. But I would recommend that to prevent, as much as you can, getting the COVID virus. 

So,  we take vitamins. We eat really healthy. I cook all the time. We exercise a lot, every day and we’ve done that for years. We get good sleep. I didn’t always get good sleep. I used to get only seven hours a night. But now I get eight hours.

I think that’s it. So, vitamins, food, exercise, sleep. I think those are really important. And of course, we go to the doctor and get regular checkups, that kind of thing.

Well, what about you? Do you get many colds? Do you get the flu? Have you ever had the flu? It’s very different from a cold. What do you do, to shorten a cold? What do you do to prevent a cold or the flu? Do you believe in shots, flu shots? Have you gotten one this year? Will you get a vaccination against COVID when it comes out? These are big questions and they’re really important. Well, tell me, leave me a comment below this video. And remember if you would like the written transcript, the words to this episode, just go to my website, www.englishwithoutfear.com and there you can find the transcript to this episode and many others. Well, this is Maria from English without Fear. Talk to you next time.

(Outro: Thanks for watching. For questions or comments, here’s my email.)

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