Health & Lifestyle

Surviving Flu Season

Annie Wu ’23 and Amelie Lee ’23

Like many students who grew up in a health-obsessed Asian household, we’ve been trained to react to a sore throat with nothing less than abject panic and the quick consumption of a large variety of solutions and pills. Flu season is awful—there’s nothing like mucus to drag down your daily educational pursuits. Here’s our comprehensive guide to dodging germs this October. 

Preventative measures:

Before the slightest sniffle even hits you there are precautionary measures one may take to prevent a cold from happening. If you haven’t already, get a flu shot from one of the many clinics in the next few weeks. Target also offers flu shots with most health insurance. 

Following an especially tiring night or exposure to cold weather, take some vitamin C—two oranges or a gummy tablet could be the boost your immune system needs. Try to get extra sleep when you’re feeling weak; it’s your body’s way of telling you that it needs the rest. 

We cannot emphasize this enough: listen to your body. If you feel overworked, sad, or stressed, your immune system will slow down while your cortisol levels pump up, kicking the cold virus into high gear.

Liquids:

Unfortunately, once the symptoms set in, you’ll probably need a bit more than oranges and sleep to fix the situation. When you feel yourself getting sick, try to consume as much water as possible. While it’s habituary to suggest drinking fluids, water will replace the electrolytes you lose when you’re sick, speeding up recovery and relieving symptoms. Top off your avid liquid drinking with extra sleep and rest and you’ll be on your way to recovery in no time. 

Better yet, use the age-old remedy universally agreed on by Asian moms lemon water and honey. Drinking warm water with a squeeze of lemon will open up your nasal passages when you are congested, soothing your sore throat and stuffy nose. Honey is the key here, acting as an anti-bacterial and cough suppressant. 

Self care: 

While self care won’t fix the illness immediately, taking the time to relieve symptoms with home remedies will make your cold much more manageable. Grab some ginger tea from the dining halls and stock up on hot soup. Make sure you eat lots of protein to ensure that you have energy to fight the cold. 

Just as importantly, take care of your emotional wellbeing. Scripps has all the resources you may need if you dig a little to find them. Visit Sallie Tiernan Field House to meditate or implement light exercise into your day. Stop by the Margaret Fowler Memorial Garden to relax or get out of your room as you study. Any lawn, pathway, table or bench on campus holds the potential to be your next breath of fresh air.

 

Pre-week: Prepare your body to the best you can with a flu shot. Mentally prepare for the inevitable feeling of soreness and mucus that accompanies flu season. 

Day 1: Convince yourself that you’re not actually getting sick— it’s probably just November allergies or a three-day hangover. Take a vitamin C just in case. 

Day 2: The sore throat has become an undeniable terrible cold. Down a gallon of water and stock up canned soups in your dorm so you won’t have to leave your bed for several days. 

Day 3: Sit in bed sadly, thinking of how you took breathing through your nose for granted and how you would get so much work done if only you were well. 

Day 4:  Drink water/tea, eat three meals consisting of chicken soup that you can barely taste, drink water again, and then consider getting out of bed. 

Day 5:  Your nose might be really dry from blowing it every two minutes, but you’re finally ready to venture back into the world again. Your classmates will appreciate you coughing in their general direction every few minutes. 

Image Credit: Gabi Seifert

10/10, Volume XXIX, Issue 2