Whilst our attention is currently being understandably drawn to well publicised injuries and ailments such as Michael Clarke’s back, Jobe Watson’s shoulder and David Warner’s brain, there is a much greater and more widespread affliction impacting men all over Australia that doesn’t get the credit it deserves.
Whilst high profile campaigns such as Movember and Feb Fast have in recent years drawn serious and much needed attention to the issues of prostate cancer and alcohol, and Beyond Blue does wonderful work highlighting the growing issues of mental health awareness, one malaise continues to go under the radar.
However, this creeping and insidious beast, which impacts men without fear or favour or any warning at all, has the potential to create much greater havoc on the country and cost to the community.
I refer of course to the scourge that is Man Flu.
I should know; I am only just recovering from a terrible dose over the last few days.
Man Flu should not be confused with its more benign cousins, such as a cold, the lurgy, normal flu or even the dreaded sniffles.
Let’s get this straight and out in the open; Man Flu is a much more serious issue affecting men from all walks of life, all over Australia and at any time.
My own strain of Man Flu was mercifully not fatal or contagious, nor was it as debilitating as it can be. Nonetheless, I feel that this is situation often misunderstood, usually misdiagnosed and commonly greeted with a frighteningly harsh and dismissive lack of sympathy that overall, needs greater attention.
Whilst not every cold is Man Flu, Man Flu moves from a cold with alarming pace, taking over the host’s body with little warning. Once contracted, it can restrict movement to barely being able to get off the couch, removes the ability to undertake even the most menial household chore and makes you the hostage of the tissue box within hours.
You cannot wear anything else but trackies, sport socks and big windcheaters and need the reassuring comfort of the TV remote in your hand.
Man Flu is often hidden from society in a variety of ways. Players are rested from AFL games or quoted as suffering from general soreness, but we who have dealt with this accursed mistress know all too well the real story that is not being told. Men also are brave and selfless champions in not wanting to make too much of a fuss about their condition, usually to their female partners who seem, it is sad to say, to not fully grasp the gravity of the situation.
It is not uncommon for men to try to push through, to deny to themselves that they are sufferers, nay, even carriers, of this parasite. Men will bravely continue to go to work, where one of the side effects of Man Flu, the need to constantly remind people of their condition and progress, occurs.
However, Man Flu is not easily beaten, and despite the best intentions of brave men, we too often succumb to its power.
My own recovery has been fortunately a good one. However, I may not always be that lucky.
This is why I am attempting to launch more research into this male only condition, and to eventually find a cure.
We have had Jeans for Genes Day, so I what about Golf for Man Flu weekend?
Men all over Australia should converge on local golf clubs and get in a weekend of golf, followed by the necessary rehydration sessions, to look into this issue in greater depth.
Men need to talk more about this disease, share their experiences, swap potential cures, sympathise and be there for fellow sufferers, as well as supporting their local golf club or pub.
It is only through being more open with each other, raising funds, legitimising this evil predicament and celebrating those who have recovered to tell the tale that we will eventually beat this scourge on Australian male society.
Please join me in raising the profile of the impact of Man Flu on Australian society.
Crush the Cold. Flick the Flu. Smash the Sniffles. Lash the Lurgy.
Make Man Flu history
If you can meet with triumph and Man Flu, and treat those two imposters just the same, then you’re a man my son.
Let’s see an end, through golf, football and cricket, men watching sport together and constant hydration, to Man Flu in our lifetime.