How to avoid the flu like you avoid your ex

Hit the Quan? Sometimes. Hit the antibacterial hand soap? Always.

You’re sitting in your 200-person lecture class and 199 people have already coughed and/or sneezed. The Carolina Plague is coming.

Here are some tips for staying healthy and happy from yours truly.

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Get the damn flu shot

Campus Health offers the flu shot for only $25 (if it’s not covered by your insurance). Only $25 to not fall victim to a virus that could keep you from going out this weekend? What a time to be alive. But wait, you haven’t been to campus health yet? You lucky dog. Here is a map just in case.

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Wash those paws

Use soap and warm water to wash your hands. Scrub those paws for at least 20 seconds (that’s about half as long as Monty’s part in Hotline Bling – jam on). If a sink and some soap are just way too far away from you, get some hand sanitizer or hand wipes. Carry them around in your backpack.

If you have room for that granola bar that’s been in there for the past three weeks, you can fit a mini bottle of Bath and Body works fancy antibacterial hand gel.

Did you just use the restroom? Did you just pet the cute puppies always chillin in The Pit? Did you just prepare or eat food or are you about to prepare or eat food? Did you just cough, sneeze, or use a tissue? Did you just high-five someone you don’t really know? Did you just high-five someone you kind of know because you had one class together two semesters ago but you don’t remember their name so you don’t know where the relationship is headed? If you answered yes to any of these questions, wash yo’ hands.

Clean your phone (and computer)

If you wash your hands and then immediately grab your phone to stalk your friend’s brother’s tennis partner’s doctor’s dog on Instagram, you just wasted those 20 seconds of your life (even if you slayed Hotline Bling). Your phone is a germ hotbed and since it doesn’t leave your hand, you are an extension of that hotbed. Congrats.

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Get a damp, clean cloth and wipe down your phone and laptop regularly. Use a Q-Tip to get those hard to reach places. Think about how close that thing is to your face when you have to call your mom about changing your major for the 5th time. Gross. Maybe put a tiny bit of rubbing alcohol – or leftover drinking alcohol – on that cloth. Disinfect that shit.

Hit the gym and eat the good stuff

Surprise: working out is good for you. Exercise can help boost your ability to fight off viruses and defend against a lot of sicknesses. Get a workout buddy and do something active. Do you have to go to Ab-solution or a spin class? Ab-solutely not (even though they can be great). As long as you break a sweat, do whatever you want.

Hydrate. And I don’t just mean on Sunday morning. I mean all day, every day. Actually use that side pocket on your backpack for a water bottle. If you don’t like water that much, add some flavor to it with MIO or Crystal Light. Drink some warm, herbal tea every once in a while (not from Bojangles). What not to drink: PJ out of a freaking trashcan in Frat Court that has who knows what in there.

Stop eating stuff with no nutritional value. Yes, that means those Cheez-its you love. Stock up on fruits and veggies. Blend them together to make a super cool, yummy smoothie and put it on your snap story so people see how #healthy you are. Take those vitamins that your mom always wanted you to. I recommend Flintstones.

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Sick people? Swerve.

Stay away from sick people. Don’t force your BFF to go out with you when they say they aren’t feeling well because guess who’s next? YOU. Don’t sit next to the coughing machine in class. Don’t cuddle with your roommate who has a mountain of tissues around him or her.

Should you kiss that guy you just met tonight? Do you like having a headache and sore throat for days? Do you want mono? No? Do not proceed.

May the odds be ever in your favor this flu season. Don’t hesitate to visit campus health if you are really not feeling well.

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