This spring, a perfect storm is brewing. As rainy days and rigorous examinations approach us in the coming months, so does a wave of runny noses, irritated throats and barking coughs.
Every year, illnesses like the cold and the flu affect millions of people across the country. While there are members of our community who pass through the season without so much of a sniffle, others are not so lucky.
In the past month, freshman Venkata Polavarapu can recall an unfortunate instance where she fell ill with what she perceived as a cough and a cold. She is thankful that she has gotten over her ailment before allergy season starts so that she may not be dealing with two illnesses at the same time. “I think allergies are what affect students most during the spring,” Polavarapu said. “Pollen allergies specifically.”
When junior Jason Cao was in elementary school, he was hit hard by pollen allergies due to asthma, a condition that about 300 million people worldwide suffer from, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. “I had asthma, so the allergies really got me as a kid,” Cao said. “I still have to deal with itchy ears, watery eyes and a swollen throat when this time of year gets really bad.”
Unlike Polavarapu and Cao, English teacher Mellownie Ho has not suffered through symptoms of spring illnesses in recent years. However, she does notice that the tissue boxes in her classroom need to be replaced more frequently than usual in the months of March and April. “Around springtime, I do notice people going through a lot more tissues,” Ho said.
For Ho, the cure for a spring illness is getting an appropriate amount of sleep at night and taking Cold-EEZE lozenges as medicine. “If you’re sick, Cold-EEZE really helps to numb the throat and they taste much better than HALLS cough drops,” Ho said.
For headaches that occur during spring allergy season, Cao recommends using Advil to access pain relief. “Other than taking pills, exercises like dancing could maybe help you get over your illnesses too,” Cao said.
To reduce full-body symptoms that come with getting sick this time of year, Polavarapu advises students and teachers to stay hydrated and make healthy eating choices. “Drinking water and eating fruits might make you feel better from the heaviness of allergies,” Polavarapu said.
While everyone here may fall victim during the spring months, one vital piece of advice is to watch out for germs, steering clear of any environment where you might risk contracting an infection. “I haven’t seen any sick people yet,” Cao said. “I’m glad to be healthy right now.”