A Day In The Life Of A Germaphobe During Flu Season

A Day In The Life Of A Germaphobe During Flu Season

You have never known true fear until your roommate gets the flu... and you know you're next.
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The beginning of a new semester represents a fresh start in so many ways. We have a chance to improve our study habits and procrastinate less. Some of us become more motivated to keep up with our resolutions to exercise and eat a more balanced diet. We can finally get back to our school-year schedules of spending time with friends and balancing productive work and extracurricular commitments.

But, a new semester also means that every student returning to the school or university will be bringing with them a host of new germs from home. And this is a germophobe's worst nightmare.

Especially in the university climate, we are constantly hearing horror stories about campus outbreaks of mumps or meningitis, and we all have friends who have suffered through months of feeling completely drained due to the ever-infamous mononucleosis.

But there are countless germs to fear besides the ones that cause these nightmarish illnesses. There are so many different variations of the virus that causes colds that it seems that we can end up sick with a new version every week. The flu virus comes back in a different form every year, and even if we get the shot to try to protect ourselves, we still may end up hit by a slightly different strain of the virus.

So what are we to do? Those of us who fear contagion from this human petri dish which we call a university may take rational precautions, like loading up on vitamins such as Vitamin C to try to boost our immune systems. We drink lots of water, wash or sanitize our hands more frequently, try to get enough sleep each night, and generally make sure we are taking care of ourselves. Even then, all we can do is pray that these measures are effective in combating illnesses.

Of course, there are others of us that perhaps still realize the threat of illness, but either refuse to acknowledge it or do not fear it like the rest of us do. These are the people who touch an elevator button, handrail, or water fountain and then proceed to eat their sandwich without sanitizing. Frequently, they claim that their habits contribute to a stronger immune system, but the rest of us are still skeptical.

Finally, the few that remain can be categorized as the hard-core germophobes. We are the brave few who prioritize our own health and that of those around us, even at the expense of functioning like a normal human being. We avoid sick people like they have, well, the plague, even if it means leaving a couple empty seats between our sick friend in history lecture. We do our best to avoid contact with contaminated surfaces, opening doors with our elbows and ALWAYS using some kind of a barrier to touch the tap and the door in public restrooms.

And God forbid that someone we live with gets sick; if they refuse to quarantine themselves, then they can expect to see very little of their germophobe friend until they stop coughing and sneezing. And naturally, the entire living space will have to be disinfected; it will most likely be drowned in successive baths of Lysol mist until every living thing, whether infectious disease or innocent housemate, is petrified in germ-fighting freshness.

Clearly, this issue creates a spectrum of possible responses, bookended by two terrifying extremes. Here's hoping that we can all take care of ourselves and prevent any major health crises in our schools or homes. But even though it's probably not worth it to be this worried or stressed about getting sick, I think we can all agree that a little Lysol never hurt.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.
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You won’t see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won’t laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won’t go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They’ll miss you. They’ll cry.

You won’t fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won’t get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won’t be there to wipe away your mother’s tears when she finds out that you’re gone.

You won’t be able to hug the ones that love you while they’re waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won’t be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won’t find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won’t celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won’t turn another year older.

You will never see the places you’ve always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You’ll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it’s not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don’t let today be the end.

You don’t have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It’s not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I’m sure you’re no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won’t do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you’ll be fine.” Because when they aren’t, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

For help, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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5 Tips To Help You Feel Better If You're Sick

A few helpful tips if there's a bug going around.

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Not to brag, but I don't get sick very often, maybe once a year. When I do find myself a little under the weather, there's a few things I like to do for a faster recovery. I have no idea if any of these are 100% accurate, but I'd like to think they do. None of these will immediately make you feel better, but they'll help quicken the process.

Drink lots of water.

This one is a no-brainer, but it can be hard to do sometimes. I know when I'm sick, I definitely don't think about it. Water can help flush toxins out of your body, makes you hydrated, and can help you feel more awake and energized! If you're not a huge water drinker like I am, Tea also helps.

Stay home.

If you're sick, it's honestly better if you just take a day off and focus on feeling better. If you're worried about going to school or work, it's better that you don't spread anything. Let me just say, I'm fairly certain the last time I caught something was because someone behind me in a class was coughing through the entire lecture.

Rest.

This one goes with the last point, but sleeping will help your immune system fight off any infections. It's good to take some time off and get any extra sleep you can.

Clean everything.

I like to wash all of my clothes and bed sheet, because they're what I wear and touch the most, especially my pillow cases. This will help get rid of some germs and stop them from spreading. It's also good to disinfect anything you touch often, like doorknobs and table surfaces.

Take medicine.

This one also sounds like a no brainer, but seriously if you expect to feel better soon you should be taking some sort of medicine. At the very least, it'll help with your symptoms, so you're not couching or sneezing every couple minutes.

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