‘Tis the cold and flu season


By Kathy Monnin

Versailles News

The year 2022 has been committed to history while we live in 2023 waiting for our futures to unfold. Hopefully, everyone’s Christmas and new year’s celebrations were fulfilling. And as we return to our normal life routines, we should focus on strengthening our immune system.

The months of January and February are peak season for the cold and flu viruses. Although avoiding colds or the flu isn’t always possible, there are slight changes we can implement to remain our healthiest throughout the new year.

The flu vaccination is a simple and effective way to reduce our risk of contracting the flu by 40 to 60 percent, however it offers no protection against the common cold. People over the age of 65, pregnant women, and those with certain medical conditions, such as diabetes are encouraged to obtain an annual flu shot. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that everyone six months and older should get a flu vaccine every season with rare exceptions.

While most people get over the common cold, the flu claims significantly more lives through the development of pneumonia. According to the CDC, influenza is responsible for anywhere from 12,000 to 52,000 deaths annually in the United States out of more than three million cases per year.

Washing our hands to remove potential pathogens or viruses is another simple exercise in self healthcare. However, we often don’t wash thoroughly or long enough. To satisfactorily cleanse the threat of germs we must use soap for a full 20 seconds, wash under the fingernails and between the fingers. Hand sanitizer remains an efficient alternative.

Cleaning and disinfecting home surfaces can help prevent the spread of colds and flu by removing germs from contaminated surfaces, such as handrails, doorknobs, light switches, cabinet doors, and kitchen and bathroom surfaces.

Healthy eating is an important part of strengthening your immunity. Eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, proteins, carbohydrates, and nuts can ensure we are getting all the nutrients we need to support our immune system. Vitamins C and D have been shown to reduce the severity of symptoms and shorten one’s recovery.

Some popular home remedies that have merit include chicken soup, garlic, ginger, honey, echinacea, zinc, elderberry probiotics, gargling with salt water, using vapor rub, a warm bath or adding essential oils to a humidifier. (Remember herbs may react with medications.)

Without a doubt rest and hydration have always been the classic advice for flu and cold prevention and it’s easy too. It’s not surprising that many of us get sick after the holidays, we’ve been busy adding shopping and entertaining to an already busy schedule. But the body needs sleep for restoration, rejuvenation and reparation. And just because we can survive on less than seven hours of sleep doesn’t mean we don’t need more rest. The body also needs proper hydration. Drinking fluids, primarily water, throughout the day maintains the body’s proper balance between water and electrolytes, which affects how our systems function, including nerves and muscles.

It might be obvious, but stress reduction is also key in preventing illness. Stress decreases the body’s white blood cells, weakening the immune system. Methods to reduce stress include yoga, meditation, massage, pursuing hobbies, and daily exercise such as walking, and staying in touch with friends.

This is good advice for a good immune system and common sense for a happy life. Enjoy the new year and the new you!

“A healthy immune system equals a healthy body” ~Unknown

“We know that 70 percent of our immune system is in our gut.” ~Brett Hawes, Holistic Nutritionist

“Our bodies are our gardens – our wills are our gardeners.” ~ William Shakespeare

“Health is a state of complete harmony of the body, mind, and spirit. “~ B.K.S. Iyengar


Tuesday, Jan. 10, 9–10:30 a.m. (Widow/Widowers) Breakfast at the Whistle Stop, Ansonia.

Tuesday, Jan. 10, Silver Sneakers classes begin at 1 p.m. at Versailles. These are great classes to stay active physically and socially. The classes may cost less than $3 a visit and often are free to holders of Medicare supplemental policies. Call the YMCA of Versailles at 937-526-4488 for more information.

Friday, Jan. 6, 4–6:30 p.m. (or sold out), All You can Eat Fish Dinner at the Ansonia American Legion. Dine in, carry-out, or call ahead.

Friday, Jan. 6, 7–11:30 p.m., Karaoke in the Versailles Vets Club Bunker (downstairs). Open to the public.

Sunday, Jan. 8, 6:30 p.m., Singo (musical Bingo) in the Versailles Vets Club Bunker (downstairs). Open to the public.

Saturday, Jan. 14, Diamond Club Dinner Auction at the Versailles K of C Hall on State Route 47. Doors open at 6 p.m., meal at 7 p.m. Interviews start at 7:45 p.m. and the auction begins at 9:30 p.m. For tickets contact Tony Rose (937-638-3132).

Saturday, Jan. 14, Darke County Singles Dance, 8–11 p.m., at the Greenville VFW. Doors open at 6 p.m. with a $9 cover charge per person (must be 21). The band is Triple Nickel. There will be food available and door prizes.

Happy birthday wishes to Sue Browder, Shawn Agne, Rosie Derr, Alex Kelch, Larry Hemmelgarn, Arlene Luttmer, Elizabeth Barhorst, Margie Huber, Cheryl Ganger, Marsha Paris, Chris Heitkamp, Jacqueline Heck, Cheryl Stump, Nikki Nealeigh, Cindy Lewis, Bill Beasley, Bonnie Bey, Gary Paulus, Michael Miller, Megan Murphy, Deanna York, Dana Weatherspoon, Jackie McEldowney, Tom Billenstein, Jackie Bruns, Tommy Renfro, and Allison Armstrong as their birthdays approach, as well as, anniversary wishes to Janice and Kris Jasinski (32), Jan and A.J. Luft (36), Kim and Bill Klipstine (40), and all couples celebrating anniversaries. (If you have a January birthday or anniversary, you want listed give me a call or send me an email.)

Please keep in your prayers Robert Hollinger (61), Stephen Beanblossom (64), Betty (Bergman) Shardo Mescher (72), Glen Hollinger (74), Nancy Mae Brown (77), Carolyn Horner Fink (82), Rosalie (Perin) DeLoye (89), Dorothy Bornhorst Quinlin (89), and all those who have passed, including those whose anniversary of their passing is near. Please give your prayers of comfort and healing for the sick and suffering, for those who struggle, the caregivers and those who mourn the loss of their loved ones.

As an act of kindness (as well as common sense) keep coughing and sneezing to yourself. Cover your nose and mouth, sneeze into a tissue or your elbow and clean your hands frequently. If you suspect you are getting sick, keep your distance from others. A cold or flu virus can be spread by inhaling air droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Hugging or shaking hands can increase the spread of these viruses.

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