The Ithacold Strikes Again
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Health and Wellness

The Ithacold Strikes Again

If you've got the plague, here's how to nurse yourself back to health.

The Ithacold Strikes Again

Anyone who’s a student in Ithaca, New York, knows that the weather up here is rather bipolar. One minute it’s beautiful and sunny and the next it’s hailing. In October. I’ve decided there's never really a normal “fall” up on South Hill. I mean, sure, the views are spectacular and everywhere you turn, there’s someone taking a picture soon to be uploaded to social media with the caption “Ithaca is Gorges.” It's like living in a postcard. But in my book, a real autumn isn’t like this.

Instead, what we have in Ithaca is a few weeks of mild weather where we break out our sweaters in the morning and regret it once the afternoon hits us with humidity. Then there are the days we swear winter came early, as we savor the warmth from our hot chocolate-filled mugs and extra-blanketed beds. (And for those of us living off-campus, it means that we’re anxiously standing in front of our thermostats wondering if it’s worth it to crank the heat another two degrees for the sake of our monthly bills.) And yeah, a few days before Halloween it actually snowed.

I blame this haphazard weather for the plague that always spreads around campus this time of year. Ah, yes, the Ithacold. It’s usually some form of the flu or other respiratory infection that festers for a while before striking at the most opportune time — right before midterms, for example, or days leading up to registration when you’re frantically trying to figure out if you’ll ever meet the requirements to graduate. It always lasts longer than the normal cold, and when you think it’s gone, it’s really just waiting a week or two to strike again. I swear freshman year I had it for at least three months straight.

For those of you who haven’t gotten the plague, consider yourself unusually lucky. And for those of you suffering through it now, here are some vital tips to survive this contagious Ithacold:

Avoid the health center if you can.

I have nothing against doctor's appointments, but let's just say that in the past, the health center has given me the same medicine I could get at any drug store. So, your best bet is to ride it out with lots of tea and regular over-the-counter drugs from Rite Aid, CVS or (of course) Wegmans.

Wear layers to combat inevitable temperature shifts.

Since the weather in Ithaca really can't be trusted, be prepared for anything. Keep a winter jacket in your car if you're driving to and from campus. Hell, you might as well keep your whole closet in there — who knows when you'll need a scarf and gloves, or when it'll suddenly be sweltering out and you'll need to change into flip flops.

Wegmans chicken noodle soup.

I swear it works wonders. Make sure you get the kind that's freshly made (although the pre-made containers are still a close second to my grandma's famous concoction, you just need to heat them up in the microwave). There's something about the noodles — it's all about the noodles. I mean, it's Wegmans — and Wegmans is magical. Everyone knows that.

When in doubt, stay away from the gym.

Depending on where you are on the Ithacold spectrum, sometimes the gym is a good remedy for your symptoms. Exercise flushes everything out. But there are germs festering on every piece of equipment, and the last thing you want is to expose yourself to even more viruses. I mean, cleaning the treadmills and mats only does so much for so long. The Ithacold will find a way to stick onto every weight and every row machine — it's relentless.

Stay off the T-Cat.

It's the same deal — too many germs. And the way those bus drivers maneuver those things, everyone on board definitely can't keep their sneezes and coughs to themselves.

Carry around hand sanitizer.

I’ve seen my professors with Lysol wipes in their back pockets, wiping down their desks at the front of the classroom, but I wouldn’t go that far. Just keep a small tube ready so that you can sanitize to keep alive.

Allow yourself a sick day.

As much as we hate missing class (because the assignments pile on even when we have a perfectly valid excuse), sometimes it's the only thing we can do. I don't know about you, but when the Ithacold inflicts its wrath on me, all I want is to curl up in bed with some honey-laced tea and some Netflix. But honestly, watching the inside of your eyelids is the best show you could ever binge-watch (especially with some NyQuil in your system — makes your dreams go wild).

So good luck my fellow Itha-peeps. Show this plague what kind of warriors you are. (Go Bombers!)

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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