Lots of People + Stress = Sickness


Submitted by Deja Beamon

I remember the first time I was sick and alone. I was in middle school and my mom had just been hired for a new job in the city. Of course on her first day I woke up with a raging stomach virus (hey, viruses can rage too!). She had to go to her first day so I was left to my own devices at home. Let’s say it was a messy situation but I did know two things at the tender age of somewhere between 10-13:

  1. Throw up into the toilet, not the garbage.
  2. Take the medicine that will make me go to sleep the fastest.

Fast forward to my years at Duke and I am most thankful for this information that I learned at that tender age. Now as I sit behind the counter at the lucrative job I hold at a campus store, and a customer comes up to me and tells me their symptoms with a look of fear in their eyes, I can’t help but think three things:

  1. I am not a pharmacist. Do I have a white coat on? Am I wearing spectacles? Would you like to look at my bank account? The $20 I have in there strongly suggests an occupation far from a pharmacist.
  2. Do parents not teach their kids anything these days? Do we not know how to read a box label?
  3. Take the stuff that will knock you the eff out.

In all seriousness though, my first week back at work we sold enough tissues to clog the Hoover Dam. As soon as students arrived on campus, the germs were a flowing. Lots of people + high stress environment = sickness. My advice to you all (lots of lists today; midterms have made me want to abandon paragraphs and proper sentence structure FOREVER):

  1. Keep the sanitizer on deck: I see you sneezing/coughing into your hand and thinking the germs will vaporize off. It doesn’t work like that mister/missus.
  2. SLEEP: No but honestly; a lot of you Dukies scare me. Do you really have that much work that you look that disheveled? I understand during midterms season but if every time I enter the library, I see you and your pillows set up, you’re doing it wrong.
  3. Invest in a lifetime supply of Nyquil: Honestly though, ANYTHING that feels off in your body, Nyquil can fix. I swear!! Just take some of it and sleep for a good 12 hours and VHUAHLA MAGIC!

And for god sake take advantage of Student Health. They're RIGHT HERE, and they do have white coats.