How to avoid getting sick

Kate Sagara

Staff Writer

It feels like getting sick is inevitable right now. It would be great to simply not be around sick people and get a full eight to 10 hours of sleep each night, but when professors only offer one unexcused absence per semester and everyone in class seems to be sick — not to mention juggling work, internships, and other activities — that usually isn’t possible. So, here are some tips on how to not get sick from someone who works at two different germ-infested schools and has spent their whole life trying not to get sick.

Hand Sanitizer

I can’t emphasize this enough. Unlike many other antibacterial products, hand sanitizer does not lower your immunity, so you can put on as much you want (as frequently as you want) and not have to worry about potential consequences. Take advantage of Purell stations on campus, buy some of your own from the undercaf, shop the travel section in Target, or choose your favorite scent from Bath and Body Works. There are many different kinds of hand sanitizers to choose from, but personally, Purell will always be my first love. Of course, washing your hands is always better, but hand sanitizer is a great alternative.

Sanitizing Wipes

My personal favorites are Purell wipes, but Wet Ones and Clorox wipes are also great. There are also Seventh Generation Disinfecting Wipes, which are plant-based and have less of an environmental impact. Wipe down your phone, water bottle, keys, desks, doorknobs, hands, etc. Also, when getting on a plane, be sure to wipe down everything you will be in contact with (i.e. seat, seatbelt, tray table, etc.). Planes are flying germ infestations.


During flu season, vitamins can be a lifesaver. Vitamin C, zinc, elderberry, echinacea, and Vitamin D are particularly popular vitamins to boost your immune system. Vitamins can be expensive, but Trader Joe’s has inexpensive Vitamin C and zinc vitamins that I always have on hand.

Don’t make contact with Muni or BART

These things carry so many germs, it’s absolutely crazy. The less contact you make, the better. Also, don’t hold onto handrails. Also, do not touch your face or touch handrails. And never eat before washing your hands.

Street Pants

Try not to wear your street pants (pants you’ve worn in public, and therefore you have sat down with in public spaces) on your bed or other places you’re planning to make contact with once you’re in your living space.

Stay healthy, USF. In the wise words of Randy Newman, “it’s a jungle out there.”


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