How to Be a Person: Being Sick




Confession: I’m a huge germ-phobe. I get irrationally angry at people who come to class with more than a cold. Combine that with the fact that February is a veritable hellscape of pathogens just waiting to infect unsuspecting students, and you’ll find me ready to Clorox wipe nearly every surface into oblivion.

That said, this influx of disease is avoidable (or at least reducible) if we would all learn to be reasonable about it. Here’s how:

  1. STAY HOME: If you’ve got more than a little cold, stay in your room. I mean it, stay there. No one is impressed when you come to class in obvious stomach distress or clearly feverish and flu-ridden. Everyone hates that person. Don’t be that person – the rest of your class will be healthier for it, and you’ll recover faster. Then…
  2. EMAIL THOSE PROFS: They don’t want you in class if you’re sick. They’re human too, and they might have kids (doubly susceptible to every disease known to man), and they don’t want your germs. Tell them what’s up and they’re almost guaranteed to let you off the hook.
  3. GO TO THE HEALTH CENTER: If you’re sick for more than a couple days or have major symptoms (gnarly cough, really sore throat, vomiting, fever…you get it), get on over there. They can’t always prescribe something for your specific ailment, but they can at least give you basic medicines and advice, plus test for more serious diseases like flu and mono.
  4. REST AND TAKE YOUR MEDS: You always wanted an excuse to nap, right? This is no time to burn the candle at both ends. Sleep when you feel tired and take your medication, even if it’s just Tylenol for achy muscles. You’ll heal faster and infect fewer people if you do!
  5.  KEEP IT CLEAN: If you must go to class (I’m looking at you, cold-sufferers; those of you with stomach flu have no excuse), be kind to others. Sit away from others if you can, wash or Purell your hands as much as you can, and cover your coughs and sneezes. Same goes for Peirce – wash those hands before you hit the servery to avoid spreading germs on the shared serving implements.

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