Surviving sickness during the cold months


Philip Zoppi – General Assignment Reporter

With temperatures dropping, there is a preconception among Southern students that cold weather makes people more prone to sickness.

According to WebMD, the cold weather does nothing to make a person sick. The real reason people find themselves getting sick at this time in the year is because everyone is huddled inside, and that spreads viruses easily.

Mark Blanchard, a senior at Southern, is one of the students that believes cold weather causes sickness.

“I think the cold weather has something to do with people becoming sick,” said Blanchard. “I think it’s hard for the body to adjust to the temperature which causes your immune system to go down.”

Even though this theory is not true, Blanchard does not stand alone in thinking this way. Many people think that cold weather causes sickness, even though it does not. All you can do is take the necessary steps during this time of the year not to get sick.

Diane Morgenthaler, the director of Health Services at Southern, has some tips on how to avoid catching viral illnesses at this time of the year.

“The best thing you can be doing is hand washing and avoiding contact with other people in large groups,” said Morgenthaler. “It’s really just person to person transfer with viruses. Anything you can do to keep yourself healthy like sleeping and eating well are really important.”

Another interesting fact that Morgenthaler shared was that the health center finds freshman to be ill more than any other class of students.

The reason for this is because freshman are not accustom to the germ pool on campus, which makes their bodies more susceptible to viruses and germs. Morgenthaler and the health center encourage freshman to eat healthy and get plenty of rest to avoid this.

There is another step individuals can take besides sleeping and eating well that’s extremely important at this time of the year. That is getting the flu shot.

Something that Morgenthaler and the health center cannot stress enough to students is getting the flu shot. The health center even makes getting the flu shot easy and accessible for students.

The health center is offering flu shot clinics on campus on Oct. 7, Oct. 27 and Nov. 3. Morgenthaler strongly encourages students to attend these clinics if they haven’t already gotten a flu shot.

“The key is getting your flu shot,” said Morgenthaler. “If you haven’t had the flu and you get it, it is terrible and not a fun thing to have. It’s an easy shot that everyone should be getting.”

A claim that the health center sometimes comes across when students do not want to get a flu shot is students saying the flu shot gives them the flu.

Morgenthaler completely refutes this statement because the flu shot cannot give the flu. Morgenthaler said the flu shot may make someone feel a little “off” for a few days but that is what it is supposed to do.

All the information on how to get a flu shot and what a student needs to have to get the flu shot can be found in the health center.

Photo Credit: Derek Torrellas 

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