Whatever You Do, Dodge the Flu

Avoid germ warfare with these simple flu-season safety tips.
Paula Aguilar

Opinion 3 - Flu Season by Yuta Anonuevo

(Yuta Anonuevo)

Headaches, watery eyes, sweats, chills, upset stomachs—no, I’m not talking about falling in love. I’m talking about influenza season.

It’s an agonizing period, and most would do anything to avoid it. Here are some tips and home remedies to help you get through this flu season.

Some studies show that vitamin supplements can help your immune system work properly. From personal experience, Natural Factors produces a pretty decent herb tincture for immune system boosts. Sure, the data on the effects of echinacea are mixed—generally ranging from “small” to “insignificant”—but at the very least, you might benefit from a placebo effect.

It’s also a good idea to lose the booze. Drinking alcohol while trying to avoid the flu weakens your immune system and disrupts your sleep. Instead, drink tea with lemon and honey. While it may not give you the same buzz as a tasty margarita, it really does help with dodging colds. Adding ginger and oregano oil helps even more, and tastes great. Breathing in the steam from hot beverages is good for your respiratory system, too.

Also, avoid the gym, unless you’re willing to stay super sanitary while you’re there. Seriously, you were about to give up on that resolution anyway, right? If you do want to keep going, however, remember to wipe down any equipment you have to touch before you use it. The same goes for all regularly-used surfaces you might come into contact with, such as keyboards and bus seats. They’re basically a germ party, and if you do touch them, make sure you wash your hands.

When it comes to staying healthy, your phone is not your friend. In fact, it’s more like a frenemy. It can pick up bacteria from basically everything you touch all day, and most people are constantly poking and prodding around on their phones without washing their hands first. Clean the screen every once in awhile, and keep your hands away from your face while using it, if possible.

De-stress. You don’t have to drop out of university or anything. Maybe you could just finish your assignments early and take some time to relax and unwind. Stress is murder to your immune system and, as we all know, murder is bad.

Here’s an extra tip for the common cold: If you get an itchy throat, immediately gargle mouthwash with alcohol in it. I hear it helps to kill the bug before it gets a chance to really take over. And if I’m wrong, at least you can have fresh breath.

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