Dear Dale is a weekly advice column. Courtesy | Cal Abbo
Dear Dale is a weekly advice column. Courtesy | Cal Abbo

Dear Dale,

Every person in my friend group has been sick this week and I am just beginning to notice a sore throat myself. I nor­mally deal with a little cold during the fall, but away from home and with such a busy schedule, I don’t know how to handle this. I can’t be sick for finals season!

—Ill Ivy

Dear Ill Ivy,

The leaves are starting to fall and there is a chill in the air, which means one thing — it is flu season. With the added variable of Covid, it is that much more important that we are taking pre­cau­tions when sick. However, being sick does not mean you auto­mat­i­cally lose two weeks of your semester. Just follow these few basic prac­tices and you can still finish this semester strong.

At the first signs of a sore throat or runny nose, you need to break out your vit­amins. Vitamin D and Vitamin C are always safe options, however recent studies show zinc may also be effective in fighting the common cold. According to the National Center for Com­ple­mentary and Inte­grative Health, zinc — while it may have slight side effects — was found to reduce colds by one to two days. Along with sup­ple­ments, you should also be aware of what you eat. Too much sugar can slow down your immune system and cause illness to linger. Finally, the best remedy and pre­cau­tionary measure is sleep. Schedules are often hectic around this time of the year. However, the surest way to overcome a cold is by sleeping it off. 

Since we are all living together in close prox­imity, it is espe­cially important to know when and when not to go to class. Obvi­ously a minor headache should not keep you home, but it’s also not good to expose your peers to whatever sickness you may be car­rying. Before heading to class, con­sider that recorded and Zoom lec­tures have made it so much easier for ill stu­dents to catch up on classwork.

The final piece of advice, and the most important, is to call your mom. She is bound to have much better things to say than I ever could. She has dealt with your sick self for about nineteen years, so see what wisdom she has to share. 

Cold season can be rough, espe­cially when you feel like you cannot afford to rest. However, if you do not want to be dealing with this cough for the next six weeks it is imper­ative that you slow down and take care of your physical health. And please, don’t forget to zip up your coat!