It's That Season Again... The Winter Plague
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It's That Season Again... The Winter Plague

A few strategies for surviving winter illness when you are away from home.

It's That Season Again... The Winter Plague

It's February. We are past the fun part of winter, in which the joys of the holiday season distract us from the bitter cold. Now, it is just unbearable. The polar vortex is alive and well across the United States, with temperatures so low that many colleges had to cancel class for several days. With this extreme weather comes the rapid spread of illnesses across college campuses. One day this week, I looked around and realized half my class was missing and it dawned on me-- it is "The Plague" season.

"The Plague" is a common term used at universities to describe a phenomenon that takes place between January and February every year when it is practically unavoidable to get sick. Especially if you live in a dormitory with communal bathrooms, you need to be prepared. Some years it is the flu, others it is mono. So, if and when you do get sick, here are my suggestions for how to get better as fast as possible, because unless you are invincible, you will likely have to deal with this at some point in your college career.

1. Do not go out and drink

Ok, so this might seem like common sense, but drinking suppresses your immune system. Plus, sharing drinks (and Juuls) with your friends and other random partygoers only exposes you to more germs and makes you more susceptible to illness. I know it can be hard sometimes, especially if there is something big going on and all your friends are going out, but it is only going to make matters worse. Take a night or two off and stay home and rest.

2. Stock up on tissues and cold medicine

Whether you are already sick or not, you should be prepared with these items. Even though the store might be a 5-minute walk, when you are feeling sick and exhausted, you won't want to get out of bed.

3. Emergen-C and Fluids

Drink some Emergen-C and lots of water to help you get better quickly. These are also things you should always have on hand. And if you can find some, get some warm chicken noodle soup!

4. Bundle up

A lot of students get sick from neglecting to take care of themselves. If you are going out to a party in 10-degree weather, wear a jacket!!! And a jacket that will actually keep you warm!!! Not some skimpy little fracket!!!

5. Keep your space clean

You might forget to do simple chores without your parents around. Make sure you are washing your sheets and pillowcases regularly. Change your toothbrush often. And if you are someone like me who uses reusable water bottles, it is so important to scrub those things down at least once a week. These things are all simple, but can be easy to neglect and can lead to you getting sick.

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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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