Stay healthy, simple ideas to avoid catching Rutgers plague

‘Tis the season of sneezing, coughing and sniffling. Nothing is more distracting than trying to study when the person next to you at Club Alex is hacking up a lung or trying to sleep when your nose is more stuffed than a Thanksgiving turkey. While the wintry ice has melted and the sounds of birds chirping are heard around campus, strains of the “Rutgers plague” still linger. Let Inside Beat help you channel your inner germophobe with these helpful tips.

Personal Space

One of the best ways to catch the Rutgers plague is to get as close as you can to the nearest person on the bus. Is the bus packed to maximum capacity? Are they coughing, sneezing or blowing their nose? Even better. Personal space is so overrated, anyway. Also, don’t forget how many people touch those bus poles everyday. With that number in mind, just about everyone might prefer walking.

Layering Up

When the mornings are chillier than the North Pole but the mid-day sun has you questioning your entire outfit, remember to wear layers. Unless you enjoy sweating in lecture … in that case, remember to use deodorant generously.

An Unknown Fact

This might come as a complete shock, but washing your hands frequently is a foolproof way to keep the Rutgers plague away. Key word: frequently. In the meantime, if you can’t seem to find your way to a bathroom, hand sanitizer will suffice. If you’re running low on Purell, go ahead and pop open a bottle of vodka — it serves as a good disinfectant due to its high alcohol content! Its versatility is undoubtedly one of its best qualities.

Touch Less Stuff

Let it be known that doorknobs, elevator buttons, stair railings and keyboards are all warm and inviting places for your favorite local viruses or bacteria. Here's all the more reason to let that cute guy open the door for you, and allow others to ask "what floor?" when in the elevator instead of going Elf and pressing all of the buttons yourself.

Know the Difference

We all have that one friend that gets sick but tells everyone they have “allergies.” It’s hard to tell, but remember that a cold is only supposed to last a maximum of two weeks.


Consistently eating meals with no fruits and vegetables is a great way to invite a cold to stay. We recommend citrus fruits, leafy greens, Greek yogurt, green tea and ginger ale to help ward off any nasty symptoms. In addition, sprinkling some black pepper on your meals will help relieve a stuffy nose!


Arm your immune system from pesky viruses and bacteria by getting a flu shot. Also, going to the gym regularly and taking a daily multivitamin will help you naturally fend off any creeping colds. Keep a handy supply of Emergen-C for when you feel that tell-tale tickle in your throat, and take it consistently to give your body that extra boost.


This may or may not be an obvious challenge, but sleeping at least 7 hours a night wouldn’t hurt at all. Of course we've all heard the classic phrase intended to pressure you to go out and socialize when you've already committed to stay in and rest for the evening: "no one remembers the nights that they got plenty of sleep." But no one regrets getting that beauty sleep, either.


The screen and keyboard of your electronic device is the perfect breeding ground for viruses and bacteria. By alcohol swabbing your laptop and phone as soon as you get home, you’re eliminating any infectious guests that might be traveling with you into your dorm or apartment.

If You’re Sick Already…

Don’t be that person … the person that sucks it up and comes to class anyway, only to cough all over their neighbor and continually excuse themselves from the room, when they should have just stayed home. You may have volunteered as tribute to valiantly attend class while "dying," but keep in mind that there's always at least one person who will lend you the notes.

While the so called "Rutgers plague" will soon be on its way out with the arrival of spring, follow these simple tips to avoid being personally victimized.

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