I remember it like it was yesterday. I was a young sophomore, studying away for my exams in the crowded, but cozy library. Then . . . it got me! The seasonal “God-knows-what-bug” got me! I went home with great grades, but I was also sniffling, sneezing, achy, and congested.
So why is the Library, and Final Exams in general, the perfect incubator for disease? (And I may be wrong in putting all the blame on the library, because I remember taking exams in rooms with 200 coughing, sneezing, and generally infested other student) This list is partially scientific and partially my personal theories:
- It’s warm. Students want to get in from the cold, and so do the germs. Just as people congregate and multiply in warm places, so do microbes.
- It’s crowded. So many people in such a relatively small place, all huddled together with their snotty tissues of infected mucus.
- No one has slept. And when you do not sleep, your immune system takes a big hit.
- No one has eaten, or they have eaten really poorly. When you do not have the proper nutrition, your immune system takes another hit.
- Everybody is STRESSED. And when it comes to fight or flight, your immunity flies.
- Your immune system cannot fight, for the reasons stated above.
- Some people have not bathed or brushed their teeth. I am not sure how this makes you more susceptible to disease, but I guess you could carry the little bugs on your body a lot easier if you have not showered.
- Nobody has clean hands. Your either typing away at your laptop all day or clinging on to your good luck pencil. Even if you think to wash your hands, what do you do next? You return to the germ ridden keyboard or your “good luck” pencil. “Good luck” not getting sick.
The library may not be as dangerous a place as I have portrayed, but there are some things you can do to avoid getting sick.
- Wash your hands.
- Sanitize the things you touch the most (keyboard, mouse, pen, pencil, cell phone)
- If the person sitting next to you sounds like they are about to cough up a lung, move.
- If you see someone sneeze into the open air like an animal, give them a really nasty look, and then gesture for them to sneeze/cough into the crock of their arm.
- Eat properly, and a diet of pizza does not count.
- Get 8 hours of sleep, or as close as you can to eat.
- And if you got 30 minutes, get a little exercise.
Good luck on your Finals.