The Economic Crisis Can Make You Sick

Sloane Miller Health Guide
  • It's that time of year again; time to get your flu shot. HealthCentral's Dr. Thompson wrote an excellent question and answer about the flu shot and some potential lingering concerns: can I get the flu from the shot; why asthmatics need the flu shot; what about the flu shot for people who have egg allergies, etc.


    I'm all about the flu shot. Especially after a dear friend had the flu a few years back. She was truly down for the count. When she recovered, she pleaded with me: "Please get the flu shot when you can, you don't want to get this." My friend's experience was all the impetus I needed to start getting the shots every year like clockwork. And I do.

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    If you are looking for flu shots in your area, check out Flu Clinic Locator through the American Lung Association. Your local Walgreens gives out shots as well.


    This year I think we are all going to need the extra help. Why? Because of the economy. Yes, this sick economy has the potential to make us all sick:

    10/23/2008: NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wall Street was poised to open lower on Thursday on worry a recession will be deeper and longer than anticipated as more companies reported disappointing results and outlooks.

    The market was on track to extend Wednesday's slump to 5-year lows.

    The number of U.S. workers filing new claims for jobless benefits rose by a larger than expected number last week, government data showed, highlighting further erosion in the economy.

    "The market is coming to grips, after being in denial for so long, with a global recession, and to our eyes, we've thought we've been in recession for just about a year now," said Barry Ritholtz, director of equity research at Fusion IQ in New York.

    "Now the question is, is this going to be a more serious recession, is this going to be deeper, longer, more prolonged than previously expected."


    This is not good news and it's been a solid month of really not good news.


    Since the economic crisis hit, people outside of my "hometown" (New York City) keep asking me what's going in here. They say it in hushed tones and I can understand why. Outside of Manhattan, home to Wall Street (and it's excesses), it's literally a storm of bad news: house foreclosures, job losses, bank closures, the list goes on. It's happening in NYC as well, but we are in the eye of the storm and in the eye all has been eerily quiet.


    Except for our health. That is the place where the stress has been palpable. The second week of the crisis, at the end of September during the Jewish holidays, everyone, and I mean everyone, reported being exhausted. And then the third week everyone, and I mean everyone, had a cold: entire offices were sick, newscasters on air, doctor's offices, clients of mine, families, including me and my family.

    Everyone caught the same thing: Economic-Crisis-Mode Cold.


    My hunch is that after the election, regardless of who wins, we are in for a tough winter. The holidays will be extra stressful; there will be more layoffs; more bad news and everyone will be tired and stressed: the perfect host for a waiting virus or bacteria to settle in.


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    Get you flu shot now; protect yourself and your family. If you don't have health care coverage, you can still get a shot for a nominal fee. Self-care will be very important as well. That means combating everyday stress, avoiding being too overwhelmed, and creating a plan to make life easier and less stressful. Have a look at my New Year's resolutions here and the below websites:


    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


    American Lung Associaton


    How to Quell Financial Anxiety from the New York Times


    Get your next flu shot at an airport terminal


Published On: October 23, 2008