The Gustavian Weekly

The common, common cold | The Gustavian Weekly

By Lauren Casey - Opinion Columnist | October 4, 2019 | Opinion

The campus is currently flooded with tissues and sick students.

The campus is currently flooded with tissues and sick students.

Fall brings so many great things, but it also brings the sick bug that Gusties can’t seem to get away from. Gustavus offers various resources and tips to prevent getting sick this time of year, and for those who fall victim, there are some tips and tricks that work like a charm to cure sickness. Those who don’t get sick this time of the year are few and far between. Whether it is you, your roommates, or professors, getting sick this time of the year is not a matter of if you get it, it is a matter of when.

It is no coincidence that students get sick at this time of year. First, we are stuck on a hill all within close proximity of each other. Living in the dorms and coming into contact with so many new germs we haven’t been exposed to yet creates the perfect recipe for getting sick. It is comparable to a giant game of telephone, passing it from one person to another, dorm to dorm,  building to building. Before we know it, it is like a campus wide epidemic of the sniffles.

“Getting sick this time of year is inevitable because I was healthy all summer and then once I got to campus I got sick,” Sophomore Reid Johnson said.

The reason we catch sickness so easily this time of the year is not only because we are stuck in the Gustavus bubble, but rather a reaction between our nervous system and immune system. As tests and exams start to ramp up, our stress levels increase, which ignites our fight or flight response.

During stressful times, our bodies will automatically shift the way resources are used in order to ease our stress, and unfortunately, our immune systems take a hit as our brain claims it to be lower on the priority list.

It is one of the first things students learn in general psychology, yet sickness still wins despite being aware of the phenomenon. This effect basically knocks down the wall that keeps sickness out, making us more miserable because now we are not only stressed, but also sick.

At this point, it seems like a lost cause trying to not get tagged by the sick bug, but there are still ways and resources that prevent it from getting even worse than the common cold.

“I Clorox everything in my room, including door knobs, and take Emergen-C when there is a flare up on campus,” Sophomore Maddie Sweeney said.

Unfortunately, it is impossible to Clorox everything on campus, so Gustavus takes preventative measures as well. While those signs to cover your cough and wash your hands may be cheesy, they aren’t wrong.

Think about all the equipment in Lund that is shared, door handles that are touched, snacks that are passed around in study sessions, people that are around and packed together in the caf during chapel break, or in the giant line for gyro Fridays. Doing these small things can really make an impact to prevent you and others from getting sick.

While a lot of us like to think we are invincible and won’t ever get sick, that usually is not the case, no matter how macho you are. Gustavus also provides the flu shot clinic every year for students and the public.

Needles are never fun, but neither is lying on the couch feeling as sick as a dog without the comfort of your mom to take care of you. Get it here at Gustavus by your fellow nursing majors, or stop in to Target and you’ll get a $5 giftcard for taking care of yourself. That $5 may come in handy when you need to get some cough drops.

When the Clorox fails, the Emergen-C flunks, the hand sanitizing can’t save you and you’ve finally fallen victim to the inevitable, there are a few things you can do to speed up recovery.

I was struck with sickness the second week of school, and Health Services gave me the right medication that I needed to feel better. The day I went in, I was feeling too terrible to realize I put my athletic shorts on inside out with the built in underwear on the outside as I walked around campus like that for hours. When I arrived at my appointment, the nurse kindly told me that I “may want to change” with no judgement at all. Health Services is there for you for both your health and fashion problems, so don’t hesitate to call or walk in and schedule an appointment. If doctors offices aren’t your scene and your shorts are on correctly, there are a few other home remedies that work like magic.

“I always feel better when I get a good night’s sleep when I am sick, and make sure to stay hydrated,” Sophomore Gillian Duncan said.

Products like Flonase, cough drops, sinus rinses, and decongestants certainly never hurt; but let’s be real here, chicken noodle soup made by mom seems to work better than anything money could buy.

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