NEWBERRY —What could you do in the time it takes to sing the song “Happy Birthday” twice? You could read a page in a book, make a sandwich, b rush your teeth, or watch a commercial on television. In that same amount of time, one simple act could keep you healthier during this year’s cold and flu season.
According to Penny Howard, the Certified Medical Assistant at Newberry College, singing “Happy Birthday” twice is the standard amount of time it takes to wash your hands correctly to achieve the most effective results.
Flu season officially began the first week of October and even though there have not yet been any confirmed cases on campus, Newberry College students, and people in general, need to be aware of steps they can take to protect themselves.
A college campus can be the perfect place to transfer germs and viruses from one place to another. For example, a doorknob is infested with germs that are transferred every time it is touched. The desks in a classroom come in contact with innumerable amounts of people each day, and each person leaves germs.
According to Howard, there is no way to avoid germs altogether, but washing your hands is a great way to avoid the germs making you sick.
“Washing hands is the absolute best way to protect yourself during this time of the year, and all year in general,” Howard says. “If you choose not to wash your hands, keep sanitizer available for in between classes after touching hand rails and doorknobs with germs on them.”
Another way to protect against illnesses this time of year is making some simple adjustments to your everyday life. According to Howard, a balanced diet and water intake play a key role in helping your body stay strong enough to fight off viruses and germs that may make you sick.
Along with a balanced diet, being aware of your surroundings is a great way for college students to stay healthy in dorm rooms. Freshman Madison Graham found herself sick more often after coming to college and living in a new space with new people.
“The dorm rooms are so different from my room at home. My body had to get used to it,” said Graham. “When one person on my hall gets sick it spreads like wildfire, so my roommate and I now Clorox our room every couple days and have a humidifier to make sure we are doing what we can to keep ourselves from catching anything.”
Health Services has now also started giving flu shots this season as a preventative measure and encourage students to take advantage of the opportunity.
Katie Inman is a Newberry College student studying communications.