It’s that time of year again. The weather is changing, and people are getting sick in hordes. It’s bad. There are lines out the door at health services, and everywhere you go people are coughing and sneezing and blowing their noses all over the place, so it’s easy to get inadvertently sprayed with someone’s bacterial/viral cough germs. Not to be gross or anything, but you have to watch out for that stuff.
I think that there are some major precautions that you need to take during the winter season to avoid getting the sicknesses going around. First of all, CARRY HAND SANITIZER. Not the bad, chemical sanitizer. The good, chemical-free sanitizer. I personally use Burt’s Bees Witch Hazel Hand Sanitizer, and so does my mother–we both love it.
Second of all, TAKE VITAMIN C. Seriously. Drink lots and lots of orange juice, eat oranges, or use Emergen-C. And ECHINACEA! Much love to Yogi’s Echinacea Immune Support Tea. Much, much love.
Thirdly, DON’T SHARE. Even if your friend is dying of thirst and says that of course she’s not sick, don’t listen. You never know. Better safe than sorry, yes?
Fourth, I know it’s cold out, but please do not turn your heat on full-blast with no air circulation! One of my friends had her heat turned onto 5 (last year I didn’t turn mine above 3 all winter), hadn’t had her window open in weeks, kept the door closed, and had no fan going. Bad. The contrast between this environment and the outside environment will weaken your immune system. Plus, that’s just not a healthy way to live. When I walked in (given, she was already sick), the air in her room was heavy and moist, and you could almost taste the germs. Bad. Turn down the heat. Put on a fan. Open the window for an hour or so. Get some circulation!
Lastly, my most important (and personally pertinent) advice: If you do get sick, DON’T WAIT TO GET HELP. Get help soon. Health services is your friend. I say this because I was bad. I’ve been sick on and off for the past week and half or so–able to function, but constantly declining. I just got worse and worse until two days ago (on my birthday, mind you!) I could not get out of bed, I was so sick. It was bad. I went to Health Services, and sure enough, I had a bad bacterial infection. Strep. How uncomfortable. They gave me antibiotics, and now, two days later, I am like a new person.
At this time of year, I know most of you are going crazy over finals, incredibly stressed with the workload, and ridiculously busy with rehearsals and meetings for whatever activities you’re involved in. Sickness is not OK now. So take my advice: Take care of yourself. If you’re sick, get help, and soon. It’s better to miss a day, go to health services and get better, than to half-heartedly go to classes for a week when what your body really needs is rest. Believe me. I’m loving not being sick for the first time in a looonggg time.
Note to self: Do your body a favor! It does lots for you. Keep it healthy.
Lily Berthold-Bond grew up in a chemical-free zone and has struggled her whole life to understand and accept this non-commercial lifestyle. Now a sophomore at Tufts University, she has embraced her green life and hopes to share its possibilities with the rest of her generation.