The art of surviving a flu

(We did not just hear you giggle, did we?)

Flu season is here and with it came the inevitable: a big, ugly and extremely unwelcome virosis. And you know that saying: you can’t kill two birds with one stone? Apparently, the flu can.

And so, one frozen Tuesday morning, both theStartups core members woke up with aching bodies, sore throats and no particular desire to live any longer. It’s that kind of flu that simply has the power to make you wish you were dead, while also fearing you might actually die, at the same time.

theStartups had suddenly become a non-functional, useless component of our society.

And we had a lot of work to do and meetings to attend and projects to carry on with and how the hell are we supposed to get it all done when the only thing keeping us alive is knowing it’ll soon turn 3:00 PM and we’ll be able to ingest the next dose of anti-flu drugs?

We like you, so we’ll reveal our survival kit. Just like Bear Grills’, only this one is for two ex-corporatists who caught a damn cold.

The “fake it ’till you make it” method

Just so you know, this won’t work.

– “Alright, so we got sick, no biggie.”

We had somewhere to be, someone to meet, there was no time for whines and pain level assessment. So we put on Wonder Woman’s cape – Superman’s underpants respectively – and off we went.

Shortly after we got there, however, our condition had worsened. We felt so sick that we soon reached the point where we could only concentrate on our watches, praying that the time would pass faster or a phone would ring an emergency or, who knows, maybe an asteroid would strike Earth.

The “it’s time to admit we have a problem” approach

It’s hard to do that when you’re super busy and your pride is the size of the Empire State Building as well. But there comes a time when a man has to choose between bearing his own suffering and disappointing some clients.

So we went on a call – email – text spree and postponed all of the duties that were connected to the outside world.

We thought we were invincible but the truth is we were not. Sometimes there’s no way around a disease, and the only thing you can do is surrender to your illness and go easy on yourself so you can get back on your feet as quickly as possible.

Pills, meals, sleep, repeat

… and an outrageous amount of hot tea and fresh fruits.

(FYI, if you’re one of us and your stomach has its own personality and likes to throw tantrums when you least expect, you should know that tea & fruits don’t go well together. At all.)

So here’s the least you can do when nothing else can be done:

  • take your pills as prescribed. Don’t skip doses but don’t overdose either if you’re not friends with misery.
  • eat regularly but keep your meals light. No road to recovery is paved with steaks and french fries.
  • sleep as much as you can. Even if you feel better, don’t overdo anything. You need to rest to regain your strength, and that doesn’t happen with one night’s good sleep and two shots of aspirin.
  • stay hydrated. Liquids may be the most important contributor to your healing, so double the amount of liquid you normally consume.

The damage control

– Whatcha’ doing?

– Working on this new article.

– … you must be out of your mind.

Whenever we felt a little better we would try and catch up with the most urgent stuff. We weren’t able to cover all we had planned, but we found some comfort in the things we were able to push forward. Learning how to prioritize our tasks proved to be very useful especially on an occasion like this, when our resources were extremely scarce.

As bad as the timing might be, when the flu strikes it’s best that you save your energy. The flu is no drama, but you need to keep your expectations realistic. Your productivity drops by at least 50% during this time, so don’t despair over the pending stuff on your agenda. Reschedule what you can and rely on technology for the rest (emails, voice or video calls etc). And act responsibly. Don’t insist on going out if you’re sick, because not only you will worsen your condition, but you also risk passing your virus on to other people, which kinda’ makes you a shitty person.


Anyway, we’re back in business, and as soon as we get our smell back we’ll be able to truly enjoy life again.

Until next time, stay healthy or stay home! 🙂

Authors: Vlad Diaconu, Andreea Mares