It was a dark week in the history of Riverview G-401. It all started with the downfall of one unsuspecting suitemate, plagued by the sniffles on a seemingly normal Saturday morning. Assuming it’s spring allergies, we all (except the sniffles suitemate) moved on in life and attended the spring ‘Mela’, enjoying ourselves immensely. The next morning was when I myself woke up with an extremely sore throat.
In the span of two days, my boyfriend and suitemates fell like dominos before the mighty flu. We were all negative for COVID-19, but very positive for the influenza virus. A steamer was purchased, and added to the repository of common suite items. The house proceeded to smell like Vicks day in and day out, and the kettle was always on, so we had an endless supply to meet the demand for hot tea. The days passed with all of us under the spell of drowsy flu medicines, staying home and consensually ostracizing ourselves from society. We were like soldiers in the trenches of a raging battle, waiting for the ceasefire to be called.
A very surprising consequence of this big sick was that we became hoarders. We started filling up our fridge as if there were an incoming storm. We stuffed our freezer with ready-to-eat meals, and bought dozens of eggs and tons of oatmeal to get us through our siege. We converted our lounge table to a sick bag, pooling our collective supplies of medicine to help everyone in need. It was just a very long week of constantly trying to feel better and curb the incessant sniffles and coughs.
What I learnt this past week was that even when I was at my worst, having the people I love around me made it a bearable and sometimes even extremely funny experience. Despite the fact that all of us were sick together, we made sure to check in on each other when we had good periods. Keeping spirits up is the best way to get through flu season, as there is, really, no quick cure to this. You’re going to have to stay home and rest, you’ll feel like crap and go through a lot, but you’ll eventually get to the other side. What helps is having some people around you who binge watch shitty TV with you while you’re down (especially if they’re sick too).
As boxes of tissues were emptied, we started feeling better and our voices returned. Throats weren’t sore anymore and the suite stopped reverberating from the sounds of coughing. We had made it to the ceasefire, and ventured out of our trenches. So if you have the flu, don’t lose hope. Take the time you need to rest and recover. I know it’s tough to take a break during midterm season, but it’s something you need to do if you’re sick. As I type this in the Starbucks line, waiting for my medicine ball, I assure you it gets better. The other side of the flu isn’t great, either. There’s a lot of catching up on extended deadlines involved, but you have to take that break to get better.