Now that I have had COVID-19 more times than I would like to admit, I’ve become a professional at surviving sick days. Most of the surviving is done in bed, under many cozy blankets, with plenty of fluids on my nightstand. I have become accustomed to having lemon-lime flavored Gatorade when I’m under the weather. My parents always gave me that specific flavor whenever I was feeling sick as a kid, so I guess that stuck with me into my adult life too. Of course, really dull crackers and water accompanied this too. For me, staying hydrated and resting in bed with a good movie or two are the best ways to survive being sick.
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When I’m sick I usually like to do nothing the whole time. I don’t take medicine because I feel like it can make me sicker. I usually just ride out the cold until I get better. I take vitamin C drops almost daily, so that helps me stay healthy while everyone else is getting sick. When I was in middle school I used to get the flu once a year during winter and it would be awful. I would be light-headed and my body would be hot. I don’t get sick like that anymore. I do recommend staying healthy throughout the year because, when it comes to that time of the year when everyone is getting sick, you don’t want to catch whatever people are spreading.
Natalie St. Denis
While it sounds dramatic, sometimes even just a cold can feel like the walls are caving in on me, especially after a sickness-free summer. Luckily, there are several things I do that aid me in making it out alive. First, would be napping. I’m talking like an all-day nap, so I can get as much sleep as humanly possible, so my body can do what it needs to do to heal. In between naps, I usually opt for a big bowl of Kraft mac n’ cheese or pasta with way too much cheese for the average person. Usually, while I eat my bowl of carbs, I will use my time awake to finally start that show everyone has been telling me to watch or binge my current show that I haven’t had time to watch much of between my busy, illness-free, day-to-day schedule. Then, I’m not going to lie, I will probably take another nap soon after.
With the weather switching and getting cold, that means that flu season is upon us. Some things I do to survive being sick are resting a lot to allow my body to try and heal itself, so it can catch up on all the energy it needs to be able to fight the sickness. I tend to sleep a lot or binge-watch cartoons or start a TV series that would keep me going. I also love to eat soup; my favorite kind is chicken soup or a traditional Dominican soup called Sancho. I swear these things make me heal so much faster. I’m not a big tea person but there is this one tea my mom makes with ginger that makes me feel so much better. Overall, my main advice is to make sure you get to rest and take a day off to just lay in bed and rest.
Growing up, my mother became dejected by modern medicine and declared herself a woman who lives off the land and only visits the hospital when the extreme need arises. Maybe as a result of her being one half of the parental unit that raised me, I too adopted her stoic avoidance of hospitals. When I am sick, my remedy will depend on my ailment. If my nose is blocked, I will opt to steam over a bowl of boiling water with a couple of drops of eucalyptus oil. For a sore throat, a cup of tea with honey and ginger is steeped alongside the teabag, the amount of ginger varying depending on the severity of the pain. In all honesty, everything short of that I do not worry about, and anything worse than that I might be inclined to ask a doctor for a tip or two – but no needles.
Being sick is never fun. Luckily for me, I have a strong immune system. The only problem with that is that, when I do get sick, any illness hits me hard. So I do what I do best: I hibernate. Soup, tea and crackers fill my cupboards and pantry. I take as many hot showers as my water supply allows to clear out my system of any congestion. Afterward, I put on my coziest pajamas and curl up on either my couch or in bed and watch YouTube or some of my favorite films from my childhood, such as “The Neverending Story” or “The Little Mermaid.” Re-watching these films is great for background noise in case I doze off because of the cold medicine.
In good Russian tradition, my cold remedy of choice is tea. Many cultures of the world know of tea’s medicinal properties, but the blend that makes me feel the best is one my mom taught me. To make it, I place three tea bags — chamomile, rosehip and linden — and a couple of lemon slices in the largest mug I own. After pouring boiling water, I add two teaspoons of honey and mix. The drink tastes gently sweet with no trace of tea’s natural bitterness, effectively soothing a hurting throat. Since moving to the United States for college, I found it difficult to find certain teas, but this remedy works too well for me to give it up. So I bring rosehip tea from home and replace linden with Bigelow’s lemon ginger tea. Paired with a scarf around my neck, warm blankets, a tissue box by my side and lots of rest, I feel I can overcome any illness.