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Staying Well This Winter

By Amelia Summers 

The first day of winter is December 21st! Are you prepared for the next few months of hell? Didn’t think so, let me point you in the right direction:


First step is preparing for sickness. It will come. I don’t care if you got your flu shot and have a “super strong immune system”. A virus is basically a magical, invisible, death machine whose sole purpose in this world is to drain the life out of your body. I am not a scientist or anything, but did I mention that they disguise themselves as totally normal, and then white blood cells invite them in for a drink (actually though), and the virus squats in the white blood cells’ crib, multiplies by the millions, and then the whole thing explodes releasing all those millions of magical, invisible, death machines who are disguised as normal stuff, into your blood stream. It’s actually terrifying.

            So. This is why you need to prepare now. You know that bottom drawer in your room that is empty because you are too lazy to bend over or that box under your bed that you can’t find anything to put in it? Get the following things, put them in the box or drawer, and you will thank yourself later when you wake up feeling like death because your white blood cells decided to take invite killing machines to the party (aka your body).


1. Actually get a flu shot though. I’m not a doctor, so for all I know the pharmacy doctor gave me a shot of what looked like sparkle juice, but they are doctors right? (I hope..) so it must be preventative and helpful!


2. Berocca is your best friend. It basically lasts forever so you can stock up when it goes on sale at boots (which is often – yay!). It is a little pricey, but it works. If you want to get something similar, boots has their own version, and even Aldi has their own version (but with less Vitamins and minerals then Berocca). If you thought Airborne was the real deal, all I’ll say is that Airborne is like drinking apple juice and Berocca is like drinking kale. The taste isn’t as bad as kale, but it does take some getting used to. I drink at least one Berocca everyday all winter long and it really does make all the difference.


3. Depending on what country you are from, your medicines and therefore bodies are used to certain strengths of over the counter medication. For instance, NyQuil in America is about 10x stronger then the British version. So when stocking your medicine drawer/box, make sure to buy medication that you know will be strong enough to actually help you cope with your illness. Staples I always have on hand are DayQuil, NyQuil, MucinexD (aka energy/masking symptoms for emergencies like exams, presentations, work, or essays), Aleve, Tylenol, Advil, a couple types of Strepsils, and my personal favorite: Ricolas. Additionally, if you have ever gotten sick in the UK, you know that the NHS doctors would rather see you die then prescribe you an antibiotic. So if your caring mother is not with you to demand treatment from a doctor when you come down with an infection, I would recommend that you request an emergency antibiotic to keep on hand from your normal doctor. Better safe then get pregnant. And die.


4. Food varies depending on how sick you are and/or your preferences. But the following is pretty standard, but also pretty ignorable in the store. So screenshot this and remember to look it up again during your next shop: crackers (perhaps Carr’s Watercrackers for when it gets real bad and Miltons Multigrain for when you are on the tail end of the illness and need to eat something more substantial), bread (toast with butter and cinnamon-sugar was my go-too as a kid, but unfortunately bread goes bad real quick so take a few slices of a loaf and put them in the freezer so that you are always prepared. If you don’t have room in your freezer, try freezing tortillas. They are very flat and do the same plain, bready job as toast.), frozen fruit (bag of frozen mango anyone? So delicious anytime, but any tropical frozen fruits are great to suck on when you are sick. Try pineapple or cut up bananas.), frozen yogurt (protein, cold for your throat, generally acceptable to the stomach. Get an actual little individual plain yogurt and put in the freezer. Look who is prepared), canned soups (obviously), herbal and green teas, honey, lemon juice (buy the juice in the little plastic lemons on the shelf, that will last longer then fresh lemon juice).


5. Lots and lots of tissues! and chap stick, not just for your lips though. Does your nose get raw and dry from so many tissues when you are sick? Put some moisturizing lip balm around your nose while you sleep to help reverse the irritation.


6. Cold relief balms make great cough suppressants. There are a lot of versions on the market, so just take your pick. You just rub it on your chest and you breath the essence the balm while you sleep.


7. Something bubbly! No, I don’t mean champagne…keep a couple bottles of your favorite sparkling water or soda on hand for when you are in the thick of it and you just can’t anymore.


Stay healthy everyone!

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