Staying aware during flu season

Oct 30 • Opinion • 170

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As the leaves continue to fall, so does the number of students in classes. In the past few weeks, I have noticed more and more of my classmates being absent due to an illness going around. And to no surprise, I finally caught it.
For the past few days, I have been coughing nonstop and felt super tired. On top of all that, I have had little to no voice, but none of my friends have complained about that.
As I lay in bed miserable Monday, I decided it would be best to possibly touch base on some things I wish I knew or would’ve focused more on.
Take time to relax.
As soon as you start to feel ill, take a break from what you are doing. Whether that be taking a nap, watching television or going for a walk, you must give yourself a break. Pushing yourself when you feel ill can make you feel worse than you already do.
This past week, I pushed myself until I dropped. I went to bed later than usual and had trouble staying awake and paying attention in my classes. The worst part is that they’re all afternoon classes so by then I should be more awake.
Seek medical attention/take medication right away.
At first sign of a cough or even a sore throat, it is important to take medication. It may seem like nothing at first, but it may develop into so much more. Something small like a cough drop might even make a difference.
Earlier this school year, I ignored a sore throat for a weekend. The following week, it ended up being uvulitis, the severe swelling of the uvula. I had to miss two days of classes, and couldn’t speak for a day.
Locate warm objects.
For some people, warm substances can help those when they’re sick. Ben, the arts and leisure editor, said that when he’s sick he eats spicy foods and takes hot showers.
Personally, I agree that warm showers or baths are beneficial when fighting a cold.
Remember to get a good amount of sleep.
During your time in college, you have moments where you feel like you’re unstoppable. For some, those come after multiple energy drinks. To those people I say, do not replace sleep with energy drinks. Sleep is very important and going without it definitely takes a toll on your immune system.
Regularly clean your bedsheets.
An important reminder is to clean your bedsheets when you’re ill. It may seem minor, but this definitely makes a huge difference, especially if you suffer from a coughing fit.
Just remember that you spent all night coughing on the pillow case you’re sleeping on now and wondering why you aren’t getting better.
Stay in if you feel ill.
For some college students, being social and going to parties is important. However, I advise you stay in while you’re sick. I know it’s not easy to miss fun times and even themed parties that happen once a year, but staying healthy is much more important.

OLIVIA HAHNER
hahner001@knights.gannon.edu

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