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Back to School -- Time to Be Careful

Students around the country are going back to school. My daughter resumed high school yesterday and I think that my third son starts college soon too.

Last night, I mentioned to our students that they should be very careful when they go back to school. I recommended that they each purchase a small container of hand sanitizer and that they take care to wash their hands often. It is possible that the swine flu will spread more readily in the schools. I also explained that if they touch something that is contaminated, and then touch their own mouth or eyes, they could become infected. Frequent hand washing is a good way to prevent this.

I also mentioned that this is not only for their own health and safety. If they become ill, they can make their family members ill too. Even if they can recover, elderly or sickly family members might not be so fortunate. So trying to avoid getting sick is also a way to help others -- not just ourselves.

We train hard in Karate, at least in part to learn to defend ourselves. It makes sense that we should also be vigilant when it comes to our health and defending ourselves against disease.

I am not a doctor but it seems to me that one of the best ways to avoid getting sick is to be in the best shape possible. A healthy person can resist and recover from an illness better than a sick or weak person. At least that is how it seems to me.

I also told my students that anyone who feels sick should stay home and not return to class until they are full recovered. No coming to class with a fever or cough. Again, this is to be considerate of the other students.

I teach at a City and County of Honolulu gym. Obviously, if the gym is closed due to the flu, our classes will be canceled. If that happens, we will simply have to practice at home (which we do already). No sense getting upset about such things. As we often say, "If can, can. If cannot, cannot."

As Karate instructors, we have the ability to help advise our students about many issues. It is easy for us to recommend that they follow safe hygiene methods, like washing their hands frequently and using hand sanitizers when they cannot wash.


Charles C. Goodin