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Mucus, puke list: who will escape? only a few of us

FLYING LIKE DROPS ­— ERM, DROPPING LIKE FLIES. The pestilence might’ve just entered my cerebrospinal fluid. Want to avoid the scourge? Invest in an air filter, one writer doth urge. Graphic BY Meghan Holloran | photo editor

Hey, [fill in name] college student! Feel like your lungs have been collapsing inwards? Or that your sinuses have been oozing out an infinitesimal amount of mucus? There’s no need to worry! That’s a completely natural part of the college experience.

In all seriousness, sickness has been making its horrendous descent upon Drake University in recent weeks. It’s easily viewable, as my introductory lecture class went from 80-strong to 50 from Monday to Wednesday. There’s always a chance that 30 people chose to coordinate skipping class, but I’m personally more inclined to point my finger towards sickness. 

It’s been a rough few weeks with weather that just can’t decide its temperament, and so we’ve had pretty drastic jumps from hot to cold to foggy — all things that inevitably take a toll on immune systems. I know my personal battle has been with the runny nose that always manages to sprout up at the most inconvenient times.

It’s so easy to take for granted the times when you’re not sniffling with snot rolling down your face, but please thank your nostrils each and every day that they don’t constantly pump out mucus. They’re working overtime, and they deserve that overtime pay.

However, the wave of sickness that’s washing over campus is far from done. As we enter winter, sickness will spread like butter over toast. If you’re like me, the idea of being sick seems incomprehensible. I can almost guarantee that falling sick would guarantee slipping up on grades and activity engagement. So, take the time that you need right now to ensure you’re functioning at 100% capability, so you can protect the rest of us from contagious plagues!

If my mother is right in her assessment that all sickness and ailments can be fixed by drinking water. However true that statement may be, I do agree there’s validity to regular routines that provide strength to your immune system — things like eating food (notice how I didn’t condemn anyone’s addiction to the F’reals in the C-Store),drinking water, taking vitamins and managing self-care habits. Being good to your body provides a natural shield to sickness.

There’s a hilarious subsection of college sickness that’s called the frat flu, alluding to sicknesses that are catalyzed by fraternity-life activities. If you don’t interact with Fraternity and Sorority Life lifestyles, you might still need to worry because the diseases that emerge from these houses are especially capable at surviving the all-encompassing attacks of Mucilex or DayQuil.

I think the whole frat flu is a little bit of a misnomer about the true problem of sickness on campuses. I mean, ask yourself: What’s the common denominator of most students on campus? I’ll give you a second to think about it…you could have opted for the stereotypical answer of “We’re all Drake students!” and to that, you’re right, but also, a synonymous answer is the shared spaces that most students live in. This might be a dorm, fraternity/sorority house or apartments. 

The danger exists in these unfortunately antiquated living spaces that have an equal ratio of clean spaces to “musty” spaces. The danger exists in things like air vents, which, according to an article by the New York Times on national college risks, spread carriers of disease like mold or particles that infiltrate the body and immune system. These risks were one of the major reasons that I chose to invest in an air purifier, which unfortunately has not been fulfilling its purpose thus far, considering my voice sounds like it’s been put through a Brita water filter. 

Conclusively, dorm sickness, and the infectious elements that come with it, are quickly encroaching here at Drake, and each person would be wise to find their own way to handle sickness. Instilling good personal practices will ensure personal safety and safety for those around you.

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