Life In The Petri Dish
Start writing a post
Health and Wellness

Life In The Petri Dish

Tips on how to survive the first back-to-school epidemic.

86
Life In The Petri Dish
Helen Sternberg

Do you attend school? Live with a roommate? Maybe even occasionally work in a similar proximity to other human beings? Chances are, you do, so congratulations and welcome to the life-size petri dish.

As I'm sure you have already noticed, unless you have yet to leave your room in the past month or so, everyone on campus is walking around with a box of tissues, sniffling and coughing into the pit of their elbows. It's the annual back-to-school flu, when people from across the globe congregate and bring foreign diseases to a small, confined area. It's an inevitable, yearly epidemic that happens at every school across the country.

People have been struggling with this problem for centuries. Europeans managed to decimate Native American populations with the same principle. Our bodies aren't accustomed to dealing with the same germs and bacteria that other bodies from across the country might be, so we get sick easily. Combine this lack of immunity with people living and working in close quarters, and you've got the perfect platform for an epidemic to run wild.

So, assuming you haven't already broken a 100-degree fever this semester, how do you avoid the plague?

First, wash your hands constantly. Don't use hand sanitizer, you'll only make the problem worse. Washing your hands with warm water and soap multiple times per day and before every meal is the best way to avoid getting sick, even when it seems like a deadly minefield of sneezing and coughing people outside your dorm. You'll also want to be sure to wash them after going to places like the library, as everybody has been touching those same chairs you just spent eight hours studying in.

Now, if your roommate fails to follow this basic rule and manages to bring the illness into your room, don't lose hope, you may still be able to survive. If you keep food in the room, and usually share it with your roomie, ask them not to eat it until their fever breaks. On that note, try not to share anything with your roommate for a while. Essentially, you're going to want to quarantine him or her as much as possible. A hazmat suit may be a little overkill, but do avoid spending a lot of time in the room.

The most likely place you'll contract a sickness is at a party. Thirty people cramped in a dorm room with countless, identical and easily misplaced red solo cups is a virus' playground. Keep track of your drink and don't let others sip out of it, even if they don't appear sick.

Of course, sleep and a healthy diet are always a good way to boost your immune system, which will be your first line of defense in the case you have been contaminated.

These tips are basic, yes, but they truly are the best way to avoid getting sick during not only the first wave, but through all of the waves of illnesses that'll pass through campus. Classes are hard enough without having to deal with a stuffy nose or a high fever, don't make it harder on yourself.



Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Ronny Salerno

This feeling hurts. I must declare

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

10 Holiday Drinks to Spice Up this December's Movie Binge

After all, isn't it the season of drinking...?

889
10 Holiday Drinks to Spice Up this December's Movie Binge
https://unsplash.com/photos/d-SeLxF_QF0

Thanksgiving has officially ended which means we are in preparation for the final holidays of the year. December is a busy month, filled with shopping and sales, wrapping gifts, planning family gathering and parties, cooking and baking, holiday movies, and of course, lots of drinking. I know that I will be spending a lot of December watching the ABC Family's 25 Days of Christmas,

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Planning Another Christmas Party

Don't just plan another plain party but get creative to have everyone wanting to come back next year!

9692
Getty Famous

You know it's Christmas when the radio stations change to all of your favorite holiday tunes, the air is still, and stores have the best sales. With all my favorite things from Christmas happening my least favorite probably has to be when I have to go to another same old boring Christmas party that I get invited to every year. Here are some Christmas party ideas so that you won't have another sad Christmas party.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

High School Soccer is Wildly Important

For Young Players Who Want to Succeed at The Next Level

14516
High School Soccer is Wildly Important

Whose choice is it? The parent? The player? There are a number of reasons that a kid may sit out of high school soccer, and to be completely honest; It is a huge mistake. High school soccer is the final piece in the puzzle that takes a player from above average or elite, to college ready by the end of their senior year. Every year thousands of talented athletes don't play for their high schools. Why though?

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

8 Things That Should Be On Everyone's Holiday To-Do List

December is around the corner, are you ready?

11187
8 Things That Should Be On Everyone's Holiday To-Do List
Unsplash.com

As they tend to say, its the most wonderful time of the year! People have begun to compile their Christmas to-do lists in anticipation for the season of sugarplums and gingerbread.

The history of the Christmas to-do lists goes back hundreds of years, almost as old as the holiday itself, however, people tend to fall out of this habit as they get older. This is unfortunate, as the theme of Christmas tradition can add bundles of the spirit of joy to your families.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments