Welcome to the most fun part of the year: zombies fill the hallways and teachers hide behind walls of hand sanitizer and tissue boxes. It’s cold season.
First, I shall debunk some popular flu season myths.
- Vitamin C is Protective Against Illness – This, sadly to say, is false. Taking ascorbic acid supplements or drinking an entire carton of orange juice will not keep you from getting sick. However, an extra boost of Vitamin C, if taken within the first couple days of being sick, can lessen flu symptoms and shorten the duration of your illness.
- Drinking Extra Water Will Help – Drinking water is generally a good idea, but drinking more water during sickness does not actually help much. If you find yourself dehydrated during your bout of illness, then water is probably a good idea.
- Vaccines Don’t Help – I am genuinely upset that I have to write this part of this article, but vaccines work. According to the Immunization Partnership, anywhere from 5 – 20 percent of the US population gets the flu every year, but less than half of the population over the age of 6 month get the vaccine every year. Vaccines save more lives per year than seatbelts. They work. Please, for the love of all that is holy, stay up to date on your vaccines. You’ll save yourself a lot of trouble.
Next, here’s some items to carry when you’re ill.
- Kleenexes – It is fairly obvious what these are for.
- Hand Sanitizer – Again, fairly obvious.
- Chapstick – To keep your lips becoming chapped since you can’t currently breathe through your nose. Also, don’t share chapstick.
- Tylenol – If you can carry it, this decongestant/painkiller/fever reducer packs a powerful anti-illness punch.
- An Old Jacket – Getting cold is a terrible thing for anyone, but for the sickly, it is especially bad. Carry a warm jacket to keep worse symptoms away.
- Vicks Vaporub – I know it sounds bad, but mentholatum, such as Vicks, is fantastic for upper respiratory congestion.
Lastly, a reminder:
There is absolutely no shame in taking a day off from school or work to recover. Chances are, you’ll catch up perfectly fine and feel much better much quicker. The key to beating flu season is allowing yourself time to rest. That and not getting anyone else sick. Therefore, ladies and gents and everyone in between, please wash your hands.