Flu prevention 101: Social distancing

I’m sick.

I hate that I am sick. It feels like I’ve been sick since I got to school and it just won’t go away. As a chronic commuter, I’m constantly around people. As an editor at The Ryersonian, I’m constantly on campus.

The two don’t mesh well when it comes to avoiding illness. With the weather getting colder and flu season nearing, it doesn’t bode well for me and for the hundreds of other students who will be writing their essays and exams with used tissues all around them.

Luckily for all of us, there’s something called social distancing. It’s a strategy that you use to decrease the spread of the flu. It’s basically being conscious of minimizing contact with others.


  • Cancel or postpone face to face meetings when possible.
  • Work from home if you can. Have a friend take notes for you and just stay home.
  • Cough into your sleeve rather than on people.
  • Wash your hands after using shared computer.
  • Don’t share items like cell phones that are likely to be contact with your mouth.

It’s pretty common sense stuff but it does make a difference. According to Ryerson’s Medical Centre, flu-related absenteeism can last two to seven days. But fatigue and weakness can last for another two weeks. That’s where you really get hit.

If you let your prof know that you’re sick earlier on, they often will be understanding in letting you hand in assignments letter. One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was from a prof who said “go home” after I spent the day in class sniffling and sneezing. At the end of the day, your health is more important than any assignment. While that essay or test might matter right now, it won’t in a couple of weeks or years. But your health will.

As a full-time student, your health and dental is covered by the Ryerson Students’ Union unless you opted-out. If you are getting sick, make an appointment at the Medical Centre in Kerr Hall West 181 or by calling 416-979-5070.