Keep the Flu Off Your Hands


Katie Wertheimer

UNITED STATES- During the months where school is in session, there is more than gossip and homework that begins to spread like wildfire, there is also illness. Between the months of September to March, students of the world suffer from various ailments, seeming to be constantly sick.

Although some just throw their hands in the air and face defeat against the bugs and viruses, others have learned tips and tricks to avoid sickness as much as possible. Whether it’s the common cold or the stomach flu, everyone has the capabilities to be safe and have some protection against getting sick.



Many scientists and doctors have donated their life to create these life saving vaccines. Not only do they potentially prevent illness in oneself, but act as an inhibitor in the spread of disease, stopping outbreaks that used to be so common like measles and chickenpox. Especially for someone with a compromised immune system, the flu shot can be a literal saving grace. Even if the flu was unpreventable, having the latest vaccine prepares one’s immune system for battle and can make life with the illness far more bearable. If one doesn’t enjoy high fevers, headaches, and a runny nose, it is highly recommended that one goes down to Walgreens or their primary care provider and get themselves a flu shot.


Wash Those Hands and Disinfect Those Surfaces

Some believe that hand sanitizer works just as well as soap and water but that is just not the case. The way hand sanitizers work is they contain alcohol meant to kill the germ and microbes, while soap and water work to remove the germ and microbes while using friction to kill. While sanitizers might be helpful in a pinch, they really only kill 60 % of those bugs, leaving the CDC to recommend proper hand washing as one of the best ways to reduce illness. Bacteria and viruses get on objects like doorknobs, touched by human hands. When people use those same hands to do things like eat, the virus gets in your mouth and makes you sick. In actuality, taking the time to wash one’s hands with antibacterial soap, hot water, and time, as well as removing the microbes from the object itself with disinfectant like Lysol, gives you the best chance of dodging illness during the season.


Give Your Body a Boost

The body has a person’s natural defense mechanism against unknown germs that make you sick. Nourishing it with the proper vitamins and minerals can help keep illness at bay. Although drinking a glass of orange juice won’t stop you from getting a cold, lack of nourishment and sleep is not doing you any favors when it comes to avoiding having to use up all of your sick days or drowning in makeup work. The best way you can be proactive in the long run is staying healthy in general. By eating properly and getting the right amount of sleep, you can strengthen that immunity.


Although none of these are proven to prevent illness completely, they never hurt when bracing oneself for the wild ride of sneezing, coughing, sniffling, or vomiting that can come if one gets sick. Remember, if you do come down with a sudden stomach bug or case of the flu, a doctor’s visit, proper hydration, and rest is the best solution.