With the first case of influenza in Iowa confirmed this week in Polk County, and yours truly being unofficially diagnosed as the first UI student with the flu, it’s a great time to think about ways to avoid catching the flu and other common illnesses.
Unless you are lucky enough to live on your own, chances are that every time your roommate gets sick you are pretty much doomed. I live with three other girls, and a cute puppy (!), so I am trying to be really conscientious of what I do so I won’t infect everyone. Below are some helpful tips to avoid spreading the sickness!
1. Get your flu shot! Although I did, and still caught the flu, the shot is really great because it protects against several different strains of influenza. Student Health Services offers free flu shots on Fridays, so make your appointment today!
2. Be aware of common surfaces. Make sure to wipe shared surfaces down with a disinfectant wipe several times a day.
3. Don’t. Touch. Your. Face. Seriously. Take care to wash your hands before touching any part of your face. It’ll pay off if you get in the habit of this one anyways, since it is good for the health of your skin.
1. If you are like my roommates and I, you eat off each other plates and share a lot of food and beverages. When you are sick, this must be avoided. While not sharing cups may seem obvious, don’t forget about not sharing other things such as smokes or double dipping in the same sauce. But you probably should not be smoking anyways, especially if you are sick.
2. I know, sometimes getting up and finding your own laptop while your roommate’s is right next to you is much too hard. But when you’re sick, you just have to sacrifice and go get your own. Try not to use anything that your roommates touches or will put up to his or her face (like a phone.)
3. Don’t be one of those people that go to class when you are sneezing and coughing everywhere. Everyone has been in a lecture hall that never goes a minute without some one coughing… and everyone hates it. Stay at home unless you are willing to wear an embarrassing surgeon’s mask.
If all else fails, just quarantine your roommate!