Ah-choo! Coping With a Sick Roommate

Ah-choo! Coping With a Sick Roommate

Grace Shu
Nov 12, 2008

If you live with someone--be it a roommate, your significant other, your family--it's almost inevitable that if one of you gets sick, the whole ship will slowly sink into a pool of Nyquil, snot rags, and really crappy (but totally great) movies. So is there any way to prevent it? We-ell....

There are a few things that can be done to try and prevent getting sick. According to CBS News, a study done by scientists at UVA tested surfaces in the homes of people with colds and reported that door handles (refrigerator ones especially), cell phones, faucets, and TV remotes are often the ways roommates spread the germs around as they can live on these items for several days. (Also creepy? Germs usually survive a day after guests leave a hotel, laying in wait for the next person checking in.)

As gross as that study may be, it's probably fair to say that not all of us will remember to wipe down every surface that our roommates have sneezed on and we'll take our chances with the hotels. So, here are some tips on how to cope with a sick roommate, courtesy of Surviving College Life.

Things to Do For Your Roommate / Significant Other / Family Member
As much as we'd like to quarantine the roommate in a room and burn all their snot rags in the fireplace, try and resist the urge. Well, actually, the snot rag burning may not be that bad of an idea...just make sure you wear gloves and don't burn your eyebrows off.

Offer Your Services. This can be as simple as picking up some Nyquil and cough drops, a cup of chicken soup, or running errands like drop off the mail at the post office or turn in a homework assignment.

Keep Tabs on The Linens. If someone in your family has the flu, it may help to change the sheets every 2-3 days. If that's too much, at least change the pillowcase (we change our pillowcase every day that we're sick, mainly due to the icky thought of rubbing our face in what we've coughed out). Ditto on the towels.

Let 'em rest. Nothing is worse than being sick and not being able to sleep. As the healthy roommate, use headphones to keep the noise at a minimum, turn off the TV, and--perhaps the best thing to do--go out to meet up with friends and let your roommate sleep in peace.

Keep Your Immune System as Healthy as Possible. Start chugging the OJ and the water, take your vitamins, and wash your hands even more than usual. So maybe there is something worse than being sick and not being able to sleep: roommates being sick and miserable together.

Got your own surefire tips on coping with a sick roommate? Share it with us in the comments?

[ Photo from PetGreetings Flickr ]

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