The Defense
Photo By Ann Marie Wilson

Dear Advice Town, 
I am sick every year and I’m SICK OF IT! How do I protect myself this cold and flu season? 

The holidays are brutal on your immune system. I feel your stuffed centric pain. You are stressed about your Christmas list, you are malnourished from gorging on high balls and sugar cookies, and your exercise routine went out the door with your work schedule. 

As a preemptive strike take one tablet of vitamin C (1000mg) and one zinc tablet (50 mg) together once a day on a full stomach. Don’t OD on vitamin C, however. Stay away from doses over 1000mg of vitamin C within an hour span, or you will discover the true meaning of Christmas and it isn’t pretty. 
Even if they aren’t dirty! Wash them, wash them, wash them, and do not touch the sides of the escalator at Macy’s. Has history taught you nothing? 
Just no. Every year I seem to fall into this bacon covered trap, and every year I am so SORRY that I did. 
Observe before you embrace. The majority of people keep their holiday struggles a secret or recite that "it's just allergies," like it's a monologue they are trying to memorize before opening night. 

You have to be a detective and EVERYONE IS A SUSPECT. Who’s sniffling? Who’s sneezing? Who’s caught out of sight wheezing? Keep a mental list and put those wannabe huggers in check. You can say I love you this season without a germy sweater plunge. 
Now you’ve gone and done it. You can feel the tickle in the back of your throat, or is it a scratch? Uh it’s here. Don't panic, gobble down some vitamin C and zinc as quickly as you can (within the next 24 hours), and you just might beat it. Just be easy on the alcohol, and when possible, be sure to give into that overwhelming need for a nap. 
It’s full blown. You couldn’t resist your adorable coughing baby nephew, and the buffet at Catfish King. 

  • Put garlic in your chicken noodle soup. YOU WILL HAVE a lot of soup. Liquids are key. Go eat some PHO with chicken! What a delicious excuse!
  • Drink water as if you were drowning from air. 
  • Stay away from dairy. It contributes to the mucus party. 
  • Put a tiny smudge of Vicks Vaporub under your nose for an immediate breathable solution. 
  • DayQuil and NyQuil are your new best friends (don’t mix with alcohol you boozer). 

Now wait out that snot storm! Unfortunately, it's fairly difficult to drastically shorten the length of a cold. You can numb the symptoms by taking meds and doing some homeopathic remedies. However, at the end of your frantic CVS shopping spree and your relentless natural rituals, you still have a whopping 3 day nightmare ahead of you. Once that’s finished, the congestion will just be irritating beyond belief and then your symptoms will slowly disappear until your everyday frustrations completely overpower your fading sniffles. 

I think the worst part of being ill is the irrational belief that I will never feel normal again. For some reason, I have this theory that my new dysfunctional body has forever replaced my old undisturbed one. So be kind and remind yourself that this is only temporary, and try to lesson the symptoms with over the counter meds and live your life.

Also, stop HUGGING PEOPLE!   

*Yo! I'm not a doctor.You are taking your chances with all the aforementioned fluff. I have experimented with these treatments, and found some comfort. I hope you do too. 


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