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How Not to Get Sick When Your Roommate Is

Share a Space, Not a Cold: Keeping Healthy When Your Roomate's Sick

The seasons are changing, and with that we're welcoming cold and flu season to the mix. Even if you're able to stay healthy, your roommate might not be so lucky. Airborne viruses are quick to both catch and spread, so make sure to protect yourself at home. You might share a living room, but you shouldn't have to share a cold.

sick in bed

  • Be a clean machine: Germs love to live on doorknobs and light switches. They also spend a lot of time on kitchen counters. These areas are essential to clean in order to get rid of bacteria. And water isn't enough! Use bleach or another antibacterial cleaner to keep germs at bay. Clorox wipes are a zero-hassle way to clean up quick without resenting your roommate.
  • Display hand sanitizer wisely: Think about where you might need it, and that's exactly where you should put it. On bathroom sinks, in kitchens, and by the front door are all places you could use a sanitation burst. Using it before or after entering these spots will keep germs down to a minimum.
  • Keep Kleenex handy: The more tissue is available, the less likely your roommate is to wipe germs on her hands, which later travel to furniture you both share. If you set up a box in common areas, such as on a coffee table in the living room, it will prompt the use of disposable tissues versus their sweater or hand.

See more tips for staying healthy after the break!

  • Stock up on Vitamin-C: My favorite way to get Vitamin-C is through a supplement called Emergen-C. Most of you have heard of it and its strong antioxidant formula to ward off colds, but you can also use it before you feel sick. Adding this to water and drinking it once a day in lieu of vitamins can build up your immunity to give your system that strong resistance it needs when living with an infected roommate. Zinc is also a great supplement to take if you feel a cold coming on.
  • Wash shared linens: In a shared living space, the family room can be a breeding ground for viruses and bacteria. If you have a couch cover, then it would be a good idea to wash this first. Your sofa is the new bed for those left sick at home, and, unlike the sheets on your bed, it is rarely ever washed. Don't fret if you can't give your couch some TLC, though; blankets and throw pillows are just as guilty for housing these microbes, so cleaning all shared materials will help keep your home healthy and germ-free.
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