You Are a Walking Germ Factory

How to stop being gross and prevent flu and colds

Megan Orr, Opinions Editor // Illustration by Jenny Oakley

Hey! Have you thought about how disgusting you are lately? So gross. You exude germs from your every pore. They are coming out of your mouth right now as you breathe. When you share those germs with other people you can get them sick making you even more grotesque. Snotty nose, coughing, sneezing, sweating all over the place. Despicable. That’s right folks. With getting back to school and our regular routines, back to shaking hands, high-fiving, hugging and other such debauchery, it means the return of flu and cold season. Ya nasty. This is an official how-to guide on how to stop being so heinous and to prevent the spread of germs.

The first step is to become more socially aware of your surroundings. Yes, you who just open-mouth coughed for a full two minutes on a completely packed bus, spraying spittle over everyone in a one metre radius. You need to stop. Look around. There are other people out there, people with families, obligations, possibly even compromised immune systems, that cannot afford to be sick! The world doesn’t revolve around you and no one else should have to pay for your poor hygiene.

Cover your mouth. For the love of G-O-D, please. Please just cover your mouth. It doesn’t matter how you do it, but stop excreting your germs at high velocities. The best way to do it is with the crook of your arm, or what’s called, “the vampire cough”. It applies for sneezing too – especially sneezing actually, since the air expelled from a sneeze can reach up to 40 miles per hour, turning your phlegm into a horrific disease-carrying rocket, shooting out at innocent bystanders.

If you do decide to use your hands to cover your mouth, whatever. At least your mouth is covered. Just don’t touch things. Stop touching everything with your germy grubby little fingers and go wash your hands. With approximately 80 per cent of communicable diseases being transferred through touch, it’s important to wash your hands often and wash your hands good. Use hot water. Use water so hot that it is almost scalding you. You have to burn away the bad stuff that’s crawling all over you. Really get in there and scrub, like your life depends on it. It just might! Scrub like you’re a doctor about to go into surgery and if there is even one single contaminant left it might kill someone.

Stay home. If you are sick, get out of here. Stop spreading your illness around. Yes, yes, yes, not everyone has the luxury of calling in sick to work/school/life, but do it anyway. No one wants to look at your sad sick butt, “Just trying to make it through today”. Just stop. Go home. Go back to bed. Drink some water or some orange juice and try not to cry because of how sorry you’re feeling for yourself. Put yourself in quarantine and tell your loved ones to “Go on without you,” because you’re pretty sure this is it for you. You don’t have to be that dramatic, but it could help! Toughing it out probably won’t, so stop that. Right now, and get out of here!

There is a whole plethora of things you can do to prevent colds and flu before they even happen. The Government of Canada’s official stance on the seasonal flu is, “Washing your hands is more important than ever,” and to get vaccinated yearly. Doctors and scientists are predicting that this year is going be a bad one, recommending that people get their flu shots sooner rather than later. Other recommendations include: drinking lots of water, taking your vitamins and in general, stop being so gross.

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