Flu Virus and Dandelions

I had an interesting conversation with a fellow in the office last Friday.  The weather has been very mild for January. When he came in he mentioned how everyone in his office is getting sick.  He said it’s because of the constant change in temperature – it gets warm, it gets cold, it gets warm again – and this causes the viruses to spread.  He reasons that if it stays cold, people won’t get sick.

Now it has been mild here, and I have noticed that the irises in front of my office are coming up and I have noticed some grass growing in my backyard.  So, when he made this comment I smiled and said, “The viruses don’t come out of the ground like dandelions, you know.”

He said, “Well, of course not, but I have noticed that people get sick when the weather fluctuates like this.”

Of course this is not true, as I went on to explain.  The viruses don’t become more active just because the weather changes, in fact, weather has nothing to do with it at all.  I remember reading a study published in Time magazine way back when I was in college in the ’70’s where they took a group of people and made them walk around in the London weather without any extra coats, and no shoes.  It was cold and rainy. They didn’t come down with a cold anymore than anyone else did.

But, people do tend to come down with more colds and flu when fall comes around.  Why? Because they get less sunshine!  During the summer, people are on vacation and outside doing yard work or whatever and they get a lot of sun.  This keeps the Vitamin D levels up. Once school starts, everyone goes back indoors, the days get shorter, they get less sunshine, and therefore less Vitamin D3.  Vitamin D is one of the most important supports to the immune system, and when it goes down, our immune systems get weaker.  Then we see more colds and the news people call it The Flu Season.  Kind of like declaring Duck Hunting Season.

So the fluctuations in temperature have nothing to do with whether we get sick or not, but the amount of sunshine does.  This can be changed by taking vitamin D3 supplements (35 IU’s per pound of body weight), and, of course, getting adjusted regularly as well.  Keeping the nerve system as free from the effects of stress as possible also helps to support our immunity.

Meanwhile, my irises are coming up!