The bird flu and staying healthy

9 Apr

Shanghai has been in the news again recently – this time as the center of a new type of avian flu.  My sister sent me an article asking how I was feeling (knowing that I had been sick) and luckily I am feeling much better now.  However, things are a little strange here with the notice of the flu.  My colleagues are certain that the government is not telling everything – that there are really hundreds if not thousands of cases – and have started limiting their behavior in public.  It doesn’t help that we deal with insurance on a daily basis – so health is always top of mind.

The ubiquitous face masks are back – not against the pollution, but against the flu virus.   They are popping up on the subway – and even in my nail salon.  I figure washing my hands frequently is my best defense, but maybe I will get another one eventually.

Last week we had a holiday – Tomb Sweeping Day – and so had a couple of days off.  I met up with a friend I hadn’t seen for a while and we decided to eat at a new organic restaurant.  There are so many things that you shouldn’t eat now in China including chicken and duck and they even recommend not eating eggs at restaurants because you can’t guarantee the temperature was high enough.  Plus, at the beginning of March there were thousands of dead pigs found in the city’s water supply so many folks aren’t eating pork either.  We figured organic food – especially vegetables – was probably as safe as we could be.

Lots of fresh veggies - to lure you into the restaurant

Lots of fresh veggies – to lure you into the restaurant

Cabbage - the great green veggie

Cabbage – the great green veggie

Tomato plants being grown in a shopping mall.  Wonder how they taste?

Tomato plants being grown in a shopping mall. Wonder how they taste?

Staying healthy in Shanghai requires perseverance and luck.  I consistently practice my yoga, take a multivitamin, try to eat as healthy as possible and get regular sleep and exercise but sometimes I feel that’s just not enough.  Do you have any tips for increasing my own ability to battle viruses?

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13 Responses to “The bird flu and staying healthy”

  1. worldwifetraveler April 9, 2013 at 10:27 am #

    I feel your pain…it’s like every other day there is something new to watch out for here. I cook a lot so at least I know what is going into my food…I think 🙂

    • gkm2011 April 9, 2013 at 9:50 pm #

      It is difficult to know for sure. I see from your blog you are from Michigan, glad to know there’s another Michigander here in Shanghai! Good luck on staying healthy.

  2. expatlingo April 9, 2013 at 2:05 pm #

    All of HK seems to be watching this season’s Avian Flu with baited breath. Fingers crossed that it all amounts to nothing.

    • gkm2011 April 9, 2013 at 9:54 pm #

      My fingers crossed too. Don’t want to be in the midst of a city in panic.

  3. ladyofthecakes April 9, 2013 at 4:23 pm #

    Lots of garlic and ginger…!

    • gkm2011 April 9, 2013 at 9:53 pm #

      That is easy to do here in China!

      • ladyofthecakes April 9, 2013 at 9:56 pm #

        That’s why the face masks are doubly handy!
        Aw, I sure love garlic…

  4. TBM April 9, 2013 at 4:41 pm #

    I wish I did have tips for you, but I’m horrible at staying healthy. Colds, flus–love me. I wish you luck!

    • gkm2011 April 9, 2013 at 9:54 pm #

      I’ll take the luck! A little voodoo never hurts.

  5. Kristin April 10, 2013 at 12:21 am #

    Sounds to me like you are doing everything you can to stay healthy. I like to think that being afraid makes you more vulnerable, but maybe that’s just my lazy (and maybe ignorant) attempt – I just don’t think about those things too much and hope I will be fine…
    I really wish you lots of luck and good health!!

    • gkm2011 April 10, 2013 at 10:45 pm #

      Thanks, was talking to a colleague from Taiwan about 2003, it has made me more nervous!

  6. sarahinguangzhou April 10, 2013 at 3:01 pm #

    There have certainly been a lot of food scares coming out of China over the past few months. However just when I was feeling smug at having gotten away from it all it turns out that a lot of UK fish products are imported from China (that’s how they’re so cheap obviously). It’s a problem worldwide.
    And you’re never gonna convince me that wearing a face mask makes any difference to your likelihood of catching colds or flu. It’s a gimmick.

    • gkm2011 April 10, 2013 at 10:47 pm #

      I think that food safety will become a higher and higher priority over the next few years. As far as the mask, I don’t really know but I am seeing more and more of them.

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