The PEEPs Guide to Surviving Flu Season
Maybe you were the first person in line to get a flu vaccine, or perhaps you have no interest in these kinds of shots, and would much rather be at a party with your friends. Whatever your motivation, we all have our reasons for wanting to stay healthy, be it the immense amount of work you don’t want to make up, or the lack of sleep that inevitably follows coughing. Though we at Hopkins have yet to figure out a way to make our immune systems absolutely perfect, we do have some tips for how to maximize your body’s natural defense mechanisms in this difficult time.
· Minimize Exposure- This doesn’t mean you should hide in your room until flu season is over (guess what, there’s always some kind of disease on the horizon in a place packed with students!), but what it does mean is that you should try not to sit next to the person coughing for the entire three hour class you have on Tuesdays, or maybe that you should consider washing your hands, now more so than ever, before every meal.
· Be Smart- If your roommate has a high fever, chills, and a cough, it might be time to ask another one of your friends if you can crash at their place for a few days. This way, your roommate can comfortably recuperate without feeling like they are interrupting your schedule, and you can continue about your daily routine without worrying too much about getting sick!
· Have a Plan- If you have an on campus dining plan, make sure you know someone who can pick up your meals for you if you get sick. Often times, if you give your JCard to a roommate or a trusted friend, they can explain to the Dining Staff that they are bringing you a meal, and they will be more than happy to assist! Though you want to avoid getting this sick, it’s in your best interests to anticipate!
· Sleep- In college, the first habit we give up is sleep. Without sleep, your body does not have time to unwind after the stresses of the external environment. If you are being bombarded by little bacterial and viral particles all day, being able to rest gives your body a chance to repair itself uninterrupted by things like tests, quizzes and worries! Without sleep, your body effectively runs on empty, and like a car low on fuel, is likely to stall at the most inconvenient of times.
The bottom line is this—getting sick is not fun, especially when you aren't at home. By trying to observe basic preventive processes, like washing your hands, refraining from spending time with people who are already sick, and by making a plan for if you do fall sick, you give yourself the best chance of minimizing the impact of such a potential problem! So, my peers, grab yourselves a warm cup of tea and warm up to the idea of a nice, eight hour rest each night –you need it more than ever!