This is part virtual gift to all my friends with swine flu, and part Official Swine Flu Buying Guide (because, believe it or not, there isn’t one out there as of yet). Flu symptoms include high fever (over 38°C/100.4°F) plus two or more of the following symptoms: unusual tiredness, headache, runny nose, sore throat, shortness of breath or cough, loss of appetite, aching muscles, and diarrhoea or vomiting. Swine flu, otherwise known as the H1N1 virus, has so far not been shown to be more aggressive, virulent or deadly than the typical winter flu, but still – let’s play it safe!
To everyone with the wretched piggy flu, hang tough. Our family had a mild case this summer, and it was no fun whatsoever. If you’ve got friends or loved ones with the nasty flu, read on for how to make it all better.
Swine Flu Care Package for Her
Pop quiz, guys! Ok, so your girlfriend texts to tell you that she’s got the flu. She’s pathetic and sad and she NEEDS you, but she tells you to stay away because she wouldn’t want to infect you. What do you do? You can score bigtime points by doing this right, guys!
Here’s what you do: You’re going to put together a gift basket that tells her how much you care and want to comfort her and then you’ll deliver it to her doorstep. She’ll understand if you don’t come in – it’s the thought that counts!
Start off with a nice snuggly polar fleeecy blanket – the POLARVIDE will do, but there are some really nice options in mohair (check out the STOCKHOLM throw) if she’s not allergic. This will keep her warm and remind her of you. Add a nice teacup so she can have some warm lemon honey tea to sooth her throat – the new ÖDMJUK line is nice. Throw it all on top of an acrylic tray that can do double duty inside her BESTÄ cabinet when she’s all better, and (and this is important!) then pop a bunch of her favorite flowers into some water in the IKEA PS BRUNN vase. Score!
Children’s Piggy Flu Pack
There’s nothing worse than a child who’s sick with the flu. It can be hard for kids to describe how they’re feeling, so be sure to gently probe to determine what the extent of their illness is. Take temperatures regularly, and check with your doctor for any temps that rise above 38°C / 100.4°F. Remember to NEVER give any child or young adult under 20 aspirin as it has been associated with Reye’s syndrome, a potentially fatal disease that can cause severe liver and brain damage.
Our gift package for kids focuses on keeping the kids busy so they don’t go stir crazy. As soon as they’re over the fever and they’re past the pure exhaustion they’ll begin to regain some energy. This is the phase that separates the winners from the losers, folks – you’ve got to be sure you provide them with lots to do so that everyone makes it out of this alive.
Use the KLACK tray as the base for the gift basket – on top arrange the LUSY blanket, a dinnerware set (either the FABLER 3 piece dinnerware set for the young ones, or the KALAS plastic-ware for the older kids) that can go anywhere, the stickers from the FABLER collection to decorate the tray, and a drawstring goodie bag in which you can tuck a y0-yo or an old-fashioned set of jacks. Hey, not everything has to be digital or technological to be cool! The LUSY decorations can be a project for when everyone’s feeling a bit better – sew them onto the blanket to personalize it.
Add in a soft toy from the FABLER line, a box of Pepperakakkor (Ginger Thins), and some nice clean washcloths for cleanup, and you’re sure to make it through at least the first 48 hours!
Swine Flu Protection Package for Everyone
Cook up a pot full of Chicken Soup. Yes, Chicken Soup. It HAS been shown to have positive effects on health and well-being. Don’t ask me why – ask your Jewish mother! You can fill a thermos full to bring to your sickie friends, but be sure to down some yourself for added protection against the winter flu and cold season.
- 2 quarts of chicken broth (recipe follows)
- 1 chicken (about 3-4 pounds), quartered; rinsed
- 1 large carrot, peeled and sliced
- 1 large onion, peeled and diced
- 1 stalk celery, sliced
- 1 leek, white and light green parts only; washed well; sliced thinly
- 1 parsnip, peeled and diced
- 1 parsley root, with greens attached; washed; minced
- 1 sweet potato, peeled, diced
- a handful of dill (about 3-4 stems), chopped
- 1 small rutabaga, peeled and diced
- a few sprigs of cilantro (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Put chicken broth in pot; bring to boil. Add chicken. Return to boil; lower heat. Gently simmer uncovered for 1 hour. Add the rest of the ingredients. Simmer for one-half hour more; stir occasionally. Skim fat from top. Pour into bowls; into each add a slice of carrot and a sprig of cilantro. If storing, let soup cool before refrigerating. When cold, remove the fat that rises to the surface. Use soup within 2-3 days, or store in freezer.
CHICKEN BROTH (makes about 2 quarts)
- 2 pounds of chicken (wings & back)
- 1 onion, studded with 4 whole cloves
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 carrot, peeled
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 celery stalk
- 1 leek
Combine all ingredients with 10 cups of water. Bring to boil. Simmer over medium heat for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Cool, then strain. If not using immediately, refrigerate (for up to 3 days) or freeze.
Image credit: Ollie Crafoord, www.olliecrafoord.se