How to Cure the “Athens’ Plague”

So the fall semester is in full swing and that can only mean one thing; it’s time for all of campus to contract the infamous “Athens’ Plague.” Constant coughing, runny noses for days, sore throat, we’ve all been there. Being around so many people all at once makes it pretty easy for anyone to catch. Crowded classes, shared library spaces, and even just hanging out in our dorm rooms or apartments with our roommate can put anyone in the line of fire. Although health services are available on campus, between classes, work, student organizations, and just the hours of operation for these services sometimes just make going to get medicine a little difficult. If you’re the kind of person who wants to power through the sickness without waiting in Hudson Health Center for hours on end, or just want some nice “at-home remedies,” here are some of the best tips for helping heal the “Athens’ Plague” for students, by students. And if this is your first semester on campus, welcome! You’ll be ahead of the sickness curb and be able to protect yourself from a campus of “Athens’ Plague” victims.

1. Drink that teeeeeea (and just stay hydrated in general)

A hot cup of tea is probably the most popular recommendation for anyone trying to cope with the “Athens’ Plague”, and one of my personal favorites. One student says her go-to is a cup of Lemon Zinger with cranberry juice, especially if she’s also dealing with a lost voice. Echinacea tea is also highly recommended by students. And with so many local coffee places off campus that serve tons of hot teas, and even if you have some Flex Points or Bobcat Cash to burn at Front Room, a cup of tea would help anyone feel better, especially with some added lemon and honey to help heal a sore throat. And it’s important to stay hydrated no matter what your creeping crud is. So make sure you’re drinking plenty of water. With so many water bottle refill stations in dorms and academic buildings, getting water is pretty easy to do when trying to power through the “Athens’ Plague.”

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2. Get those vitamins in you (eat your fruits and veggies)

A lot of students I reached out to said elderberry supplements are one of their big go-to’s when they need to kick the “Athens’ Plague.” And fortunately, CVS has a variety of these supplements from about $10-$25. Even just berries, in general, are a big crowd favorite; specifically, raspberries, which have a lot of vitamin C. Eating just one cup of these little guys will provide you with 54% of your daily vitamin C needs, according to Medical News Today. Strawberries, cranberries (a big ingredient in that Lemon Zinger tea I mentioned a little bit ago), blueberries and blackberries also come highly recommended for kicking the “Athens’ Plague” or any other sort of sickness that’s causing you to feel a little less like yourself. Things like Theraflu and Emergen-C are also high on students’ go-to remedies list. So make sure your body is getting all the vitamins it needs to help fight those cold and flu symptoms.

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3. Get your Zzz’s on

It’s no surprise that sleep is one of the best things to do when you’re feeling under the weather. And taking a nap is one of my favorite ways to help me feel better while I have the “Athens’ Plague.” However, when you’re in college, it might be hard to find some free time to take a quick nap during the day. But remember that it’s ok to rank your personal health high on your priorities list:  you can’t get effective work done if you’re sick. So don’t be afraid to just take time to rest, whether that’s taking a nap, or hanging out on a comfy couch in donkey coffee (or if you’re really lucky, snag an egg chair in Alden.) Don’t be afraid to take a nap at some point during the day. Your body will thank you for it.

4. Keep your area clean

In so many shared spaces like dorms and apartments, getting sick during Plague Season is inevitable. So stock up on Clorox wipes, Lysol spray, hand sanitizer, and tissues; all of which are stocked at the respective campus markets. If you’re working any sort of on-campus office job like myself, it’s not a bad idea to whip down your keyboard. And if you’re office’s stash of cleaning supplies is running low, head to a market to stock up a little. Having a healthy stash of cleaning supplies is a great way to help fight off the “Athens’ Plague,” one Wet One wipe at a time.

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5. And if all else fails, go give Pumpkin the cat a quick pet

Petting animals is a really good way to help you feel better when you’re sick, helping to increase our serotonin levels. And there’s no better way to make a sick day a little bit brighter than to go visit the unofficial mascot of OU down at The Board of Elections open from 8 am to 4 pm every Monday through Friday. And who could say no to that sweet little face? And if you’re allergic to cats, hey, it’s not like you can breathe anyway.

So, take care of yourself out there guys, because, in the end, our health needs to take priority. If you’re a new student on campus, I hope I gave you some good tips and tricks to keep yourself healthy. And if you’re a Plague veteran, maybe I shared with you some things you’ve never thought to try before. And if you’re really feeling like Hudson Health Center is where you need to go after giving these recommendations a whirl, be sure to block out a solid 1-2 hours in your day to sit and with there.

But in all seriousness, I know that can be hard with classes and all, but we’ll all make it through this round of the “Athens’ Plague”; one cup of tea and pat on Pumpkin’s head at a time.

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