Here are the the things I thought about and the answer I found if they were a question.
The deadliest Flu breakout was in 1918, The Spanish Influenza. Depending on who you read, between 20-50 million people died. Most agree 500 million people were infected. What made this such a troubling flu was that it not only killed the young and old, it killed just as many in their 20-30's. Science has traced back and decided that the flu virus of the early 1900's was different from the one that showed up in 1918 and that a small piece of the bird flu combined to give the perfect killer. Reading more and more on the research that went on and is going on to learn what we can on the Spanish Influenza made me order a book on the subject.
About day two, so about 48 hours of curled up under blankets without any sunlight or movement, feeling a bit sorry for myself, you start to wonder if having a good aerobic base, lifting weights etc...does anything when it comes to fighting off the flu. From what I can tell and have read, not much. The caveat, and it's a big one, is for older populations. The more muscle mass you have to lose, the better health insurance you have. Essentially any bed rest at all, sarcopenia starts kicking in fast. Lose 50% of your muscle and the result is death.
I started to think about the great Indigenous peoples the Americas had. Huge cities of thousands according to the book 1491. Massive amounts of people wiped out by virus's such as small pox. It was one of those things I was just mind wandering around, if I had been born an Inca warrior training for lifetime and one day you go to bed healthy and next you wake up shivering and body sore and everyone around you the same, and your country is being invaded. Weird where the mind goes. But I think I understand now, how so few conquered so many, so quickly.
Talk about weirder side thoughts. If the body, mind and soul are one thing, does one not affect the others and vice versa? My dreams, when the fever felt to be at it's worse, were truly twisted. Now, I've had nightmares before, things that truly have frightened you, and I have had dreams where terrible things happened and you woke up sad, I've had majestic dreams where you go on adventures and dreams where it felt like I relived something in my past. These were different, they left me feeling disturbed. Things that made you feel like your soul was being attacked. It was an interesting night contemplating if one has the belief to do so.
The Flu Vaccine. I don't get it, at this point I probably still won't. I read it has a 47% success rate for young healthy aged population this year. Not as gracious for those over 65. If it was a slam dinger of a vaccine, I'd for sure get one. But with a 50/50 success rate and basically the symptoms are lessoned, not sure it's worth it for me. About 5 years ago, one of my all time cool patients I had been helping with a TKR in the past, got the shot, with in a day, was unable to move. He didn't move again for like 9 or 10 months. The flu shot had triggered Guillain-Barre' Syndrome. He was in a wheelchair directed by breath for the next 9 months and was told it will leave with the suddenness that it came. It did, but has left him in lifetime battle for the complications. Stories like that I don't think I can shake.
But, If I had to get the shot, or if I decide to ever get it, I'd ramp up my gut health protocols for about 3 weeks. I did find this really cool study from Onegevity journal that showed a different response in people that had taken antibiotics that year. I first heard of Onegevity from Dr. Joel Dudley at the ALTIS High Performance Think tank. The state of your gut microbiome when you get the shot, will influence how effective the vaccine will actually be! Outstanding. Now you have a gameplan if you choose to get one.
How long will the Flu influence return to baseline performance. I recently did some testing with trap bar deadlift and have been working on 2 hour time trial style mountain biking. A bike race in two weeks being the goal. It will be interesting to see how it play out.
I lost 14 pounds from when I weighed myself Monday night at 196lb to when I weighed myself Friday morning, 182lb. One of the things I tried out was a new style of recovery called RevIVe Therapy. I went with the standard "Myers Cocktail" B vitamins, Vitamin C, Magnesium Calcium. It seemed to be the one most targeted at dehydration. It did put on 3 pounds quickly.
I've always found it interesting when your tastes change during sickness and what you eventually want to eat. You know I'm sick when I don't want my coffee!
The lack of food for almost 3 days, most certainly acts like a fast, triggering autophagy. Although, when you are battling a virus, trying to eat what you can, (don't force feed) is helpful. Bacterial infections, I would avoid eating. Two different beasts.
I wear a watch with a heart rate monitor when I sleep. Most nights my average HR is 48, 49. Days I work out extremely hard, like a 4 hour bike ride or a super hard 2 hour ride and it was later at night it would be in the low 60's. The first 3 nights of dealing with the flu it was in the low 60's all 3 nights. Shows the strain the body is going through.
I'm always surprised how olfaction changes. The smell of lemon scented cleaning products triggered a dry heaving episode. I'd say puking, but nothing was in me to come up. There must be an ingrained sense of evolutionary security that warns us off irritants when we are sick.
So the best remedy is prevention. Concrete things. Get outside, fresh air. Work at keeping your gut health optimal. I'd take a probiotic. I personally use and recommend Sound Probiotic. Wash your hands. Did you know its the friction that is important, not necessarily the soap. It takes 20 seconds of rubbing the hands together to get the desired effects, with warm water. Get your sleep. Sweat some. Stay hydrated.