Illness: it’s a killer. Not literally (or at least hopefully not) but when you spend copious amounts of time in the brine, in fact live your life around the tides and pulsing swell, days holed up in your pit with lurgy aren’t exactly going to be welcome.
And what if your livelihood revolves around the ocean, like some of us? Days out of the water, with nothing more productive than boiling the kettle for a Lemsip aren’t going to be winning any accolades.
The term ‘man flu’ is banded about willy nilly these days – the term sucks. Fact is, when you’re under the weather it’s debilitating from a getting wet point of view. OK, we appreciate there are far worse off people in the world with life threatening ailments. It’s all relative though. A dose of flu or sickness bug can knock anyone on their back, not just surfers, and put them out of action for a period. As we say it sucks!
Unfortunately winter can be the season when you’re most likely to be affected. This down time can be when most germs and bugs spread. People’s immune systems are generally lower due to less Vitamin D (among other things). It’s then an ever decreasing circle and in some cases it isn’t unheard of for being crook to last weeks, those final few symptoms refusing to relinquish their hold. At worse the lurgy can develop again and off we go on the disease merry go round once again.
The water as well can harbour many bacteria. We’ve heard from various parts of the country about waste water tanks regularly overflowing, spewing their bile into the surrounding seas. This is caused by (supposedly) prolonged bouts of rain and tanks reaching capacity (fix the problem and have better more efficient systems in place then water companies!). Having sewage dumped into the ocean is another contributing factor that may or may not mean surfers are getting ill. It’s a hard one to prove though.
In any instance picking up some bug, however minor, is a nuisance at the least and something that puts paid to your surfing time in the short term. For our money trying to be as healthy as possible with your diet and trying to lead a clean lifestyle could help. But it’s easier said than done. If you’re currently laid up then we feel for you. Here’s to a speedy recovery and getting back in the surfing saddle ASAP.