Surviving the Behrend Plague

Cold and flu season is slowly approaching, so we asked a few of our members what their best tips and tricks as to how to survive what we call "The Behrend Plague."


Thankfully I have yet to get hit by the Behrend Plague this semester (knock on wood), but I definitely have been infected in the past. The biggest thing that I swear by is going to the Health and Wellness Center. A lot of students forget we even have a Health and Wellness Center, and they definitely don’t use it enough. If you’re sick, they’re able to give you medicine that you may need along with some extras for free like cough drops, tissues, and Vick’s VapoRub! They may also be able to get you an excuse for missing class if you’re REALLY sick. Most professors accept Health and Wellness as a doctor’s excuse for missing class. Another tip I have is to use nasal spray when you feel yourself getting sick, or when you have a runny/stuffy nose; It really alleviates any sinus pressure and helps you breathe! I hope your sick days go by a little quicker with these tips and you survive the Behrend Plague this semester!

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An often-overlooked part of keeping your body happy and healthy is sleep. On average, you should be getting about 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night to function properly. Sleep deprivation can result in a weakened immune system, thus giving you a higher chance of getting sick. I understand that in college, the amount of sleep you get is not always in your control. The way I control my nights is by studying during the day between my morning and afternoon classes. There’s nothing worse than staying up until midnight or later working on homework, so I try to increase my productivity during the day as much as possible. By maintaining a healthy sleep schedule, your body is better prepared to fight off sickness. 

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I am a big proponent of drinking tea before bed. Honestly, I just find it so relaxing to give yourself a half-hour of enjoying your tea and journaling or reading a book that wasn’t assigned. When the weather starts to change, though, and everyone around me seems to start getting sick, I change from my usual bedtime tea to turmeric tea. I’m sure it sounds like it wouldn’t do anything, but I found that when I made the switch to a turmeric-based tea, I got sick less often. Even when I did get sick, it was for a much shorter amount of time. I even thought I was crazy, but after I looked into it, I found that curcumin, the plant that turmeric comes from, is proven to improve immune function. It even has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antibacterial properties. I also have arthritis, so on top of getting sick when the seasons change, my joints swell up. Fun fact! Turmeric based teas also help with this. I personally have been loving Yogi Tea’s Honey Chair Turmeric Vitality Tea (I know, they missed out on a pun) for both the flavor and the inclusion of turmeric. Other contenders include Numi’s Turmeric Tea and Bigelow’s Matcha Green Tea with Turmeric.