Quintessential Kenyon: Student Life, Uncut

Avoiding the Krud

Wilson Alexander
February 6, 2015

Nothing sucks more than being sick at college, except maybe being sick during finals week at college. We all hate it, we all try to avoid it, and yet the Kenyon Krud is still rampant. 

There’s been a lull recently, after everyone went home on winter break and recovered, where my classes have been blissfully free of nose-blowing and coughing and the occasional sneeze thrown in for good measure. I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the silence during quizzes that I thought almost mythical before winter break. But I know that in a few weeks, maybe even a few days, the sniffling will start. In fact, I’ve been noticing a concerning influx of sniffling. Why is the Kenyon Krud so resilient? Why is everyone seemingly always sick?

Apparently this is a problem at most colleges. A lot of people living in close proximity with each other, touching the same doorknobs, eating off the same tables — it’s like some extended scene from Contagion, and it makes me shudder to think about it. I’ve legitimately considered wearing a pair of surgical gloves 24/7 so I don’t have to touch anything with my bare hands, but I don’t recommend that, as I doubt you’re as neurotic as I am.

 It just makes sense that when someone gets sick in a small community, with hundreds of other people close by, it’s going to spread, and fast. YET AGAIN I have composed a list, because I’m trying to beat Buzzfeed at their own game. Here’s how to avoid getting (and spreading) the Krud:

1.) Really, the best way to avoid these things is to wash your hands like, all the time. I know this is the standard advice, but it’s true nonetheless.

2.) You could try taking zinc and vitamin C. There are a ton of studies that say vitamin C doesn’t help prevent colds, but I survived a week over Thanksgiving with my boyfriend and his entire family suffering from an extremely contagious throat infection/cough/strep whatever, and I didn’t get sick at all, due to (I assume) the preposterous amounts of vitamin C and zinc I was taking. In fact, I got zinc poisoning one night because I accidentally took too much. Oops. I guess sometimes you have to make the choice between getting a cold and, y’know, having a functional, healthy liver.

3.) Get in the habit of not rubbing your eyes with your hands. It’s actually very easy for bacteria to enter your system from rubbing your eyes, and it’s something we do without really thinking about it.

4.) Take a bottle of hand sanitizer with you EVERYWHERE. They’re free at the health center — just walk in and grab one and stick it in your pocket. Washing your hands is better, but if you can’t get to a bathroom, hand sanitizer is good to have. It is a lifesaver at the airport. You don’t have to go into gross airport bathrooms to wash your hands before eating your scone! Just whip out the hand sanitizer.

5.) On that note, if you go to the health center, don’t touch anything with your bare hands. It’s unavoidable that there will be a lot of diseases floating around there. 

So avoiding getting sick is really just a matter of being aware and remembering to wash your hands, etc. Or if you’re me, you could take a special step: For Christmas, I asked for a pack of intimidating-looking surgical masks, because I am NOT getting sick again this year. So if you see me around campus and I have a surgical mask firmly tied to my head and am edging away from you slowly for fear of contagion, don’t take it personally. I just really, really hate sickness.