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Cold and Flu Season Tips

Photo Credit: Creative Common

By: Lexie Zanghi | October 18, 2021

Get your cough drops and winter jackets out because winter is coming, and cold and flu season will soon be upon us.

According to the CDC, ever since the beginning of COVID-19, many people haven’t been getting sick like they used to due to social distancing and mask mandates. Now that those regulations are loosening, all the germs are spreading again. Fear not. There are still many ways to keep you and your friends safe.

Wash Your Hands Often You have probably heard that phrase a lot for the past year and a half, but it remains true. Around campus, students share a lot of items such as computers in classrooms, tables in campus centers, and door handles in resident halls. It is important to wash your hands soon after you come into contact with those spaces.

Invest In Some Hand Sanitizer

Hand sanitizer is another way to keep yourself healthy. Hand sanitizers come in all different shapes and sizes, allowing you to bring it to and from classes or keep them in your dorm.

Buy Some Tea and Honey

Depending on the illness you have, one of your symptoms may be a sore throat. One of the best remedies for soothing that aching feeling is drinking hot tea with honey. You can find a variety of flavors at any grocery store and even at the 518 Market in the campus center. According to Charlotte Smith at Penn Urgent Care South Philadelphia, “Honey is one of the best remedies for a sore throat due to its natural antibacterial properties... honey can also kill bacteria and help fight off viral infections.” This remedy is not only a frugal option, but it is very easy to prepare in your dorm room.

Drink PLENTY of Water

Although you may be sipping on your tea of choice, make sure to drink lots of water. It is essential to keep your body hydrated, especially when fighting off a cold or the flu. As stated by U.S. News, you should drink half your body weight in ounces of water daily, and if you weigh 150 pounds, you should drink 75 fluid ounces of water. According to Aquasana, a water filtration company, you should consume a bit more water than normal to help replenish lost fluids.

Buy Your Usual Cold Remedy Items

Your mom probably had all the right items for when you were sick back at home, but now that you’re living on your own, you may have brought some of the necessary health items. Stock up on all your favorite flavors of cough drops and nasal sprays to help clear your sinuses. Other over-the-counter drugs depend on your current symptoms. If you have congestion, a cough, or body aches, look for DayQuil, Mucinex, and Sudafed. If you have a runny nose, scratchy throat, and are sneezing, search for Zyrtec and Benadryl. If you need help falling asleep due to your sickness, buy some NyQuil or Zzzquil.

Catch a Lot of Zzzs

As college students, we may have a funky sleep schedule. When you’re sick, try to get as much sleep as possible. Your body may not be used to the late nights studying, so give it time to adjust and heal. A well-rested body is a healthy body.

Skip Class

It sounds unorthodox, but during COVID times, in particular, the school wants you to stay in your dorm when you’re sick. Be sure to send your professors an email explaining why you will be absent, and they will most likely understand and help you with what you missed.

Load Up on Vitamins

Your body relies on vitamins. Many people do not consume sufficient vitamins daily, so head to the store and purchase some. Be on the lookout for Vitamin C and D, which can shorten the duration of your cold. Vitamin E and Zinc can boost your immune system. These can often be found in the pharmacy section of any grocery store in tablet or pill form. These vitamins can strengthen your immune system and make you feel a lot better. Once you are healthy again, you should take these vitamins regularly, as they will reduce your chance of getting sick again.

Keep Yourself Occupied

Being sick can make you feel down and lonely, so be sure to keep yourself busy. Binge that Netflix show you’ve been dying to watch, play a video game, or scroll aimlessly on TikTok for hours. You could also study or do homework too, but you feel bad enough already.

Be sure to take these precautions and steps to avoid getting yourself and your friends sick this semester.


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