End the constant sickness

By By Clayton Norlen

By Clayton Norlen

I have a headache, I’m congested and my nose is running like a faucet. I cough whenever I try to breath, and I want to stay in bed all day. I’m in hell-and all I have is the common cold.

As much as I would like to blame this inconvenience on my peers who cough in class and sniffle, I can’t. The only person I have to blame for this is myself. I rarely wash my hands before I eat, sleep is a luxury I choose not to indulge in as often as recommended and I eat candy for the majority of my meals.

I live like most college students, and like most college students around this time of year, I have a cold and I hate life. But this doesn’t have to be the case for students on campus. If we were to take a few preventative measures, it’s conceivable that we could avoid the nasty cold and flu viruses altogether.

We all know at least one germophobe-the person who always has hand sanitizer ready and makes it a point to avoid contact with anything you have touched. These people may be viewed as extremists in the war on germs, but I think they have a few traits that would keep us healthy if we were to incorporate them into our daily habits.

The following are what the Utah Department of Health reports as the top 10 ways of avoiding a cold or flu.

1. For starters, it is always a good idea to wash your hands-not just getting them wet, as you did for your mom as a kid, but actually leaving them in hot water for at least 20 seconds and using soap.

2. Wipe off desks, keyboards, steering wheels and any other hard surfaces with which you continually interact throughout the day. The cold and flu frequently call places like that home.

3. Throw away that tissue in your pocket that you’ve been using to wipe your nose all class. Tissues-like condoms-are only supposed to be used once.

4. I know you love giving your bros an enthusiastic high-five or doing the frat handshake whenever you see each other, but during the flu season, it is best to keep your hands to yourself.

5. Get your sleep. Your immune system is like you: It works a lot better if it gets a full night’s sleep. So, instead of avoiding sleep so you can level up your Elvin archer to 60, get some shuteye instead.

6. Midterms are behind us, but the stress of finals is looming on the horizon. Try to avoid stressing out if it is at all possible. Stress is just an invitation for a flu or cold to make things all the more daunting.

7. If you smoke, sorry-besides giving you cancer, that cigarette is also increasing your susceptibility to the cold and flu viruses. Try to quit, or just cut back if you start to feel bad.

8. Instead of having pizza, Skittles and coffee for every meal, try eating something healthy, such as a banana or a sandwich. Supposedly, eating healthy will boost your immune system and make you feel good.

9. Get out of the house and engage in some sort of physical activity. No, walking to your car won’t count as physical activity, but walking around the block a few times might strengthen your immune system.

10. For No. 10, the Utah Department of Health recommends you wash your hands again and again and again. This is the next best thing to a flu shot for protecting yourself from the unseen.

It is inevitable that I will continue to hear sniffles, coughs and sneezes throughout every lecture until Winter Break frees us, but hopefully a few of you will follow these tips and actually avoid the depths of despair accompanying a cold.