I used to only get sick once every February. Why that month, I have no idea. Then I started getting sick as the seasonas changed so once in October or November and once in March or April. Then 14.75 months ago my niece was born. And ever since she started going to “school,” I have been catching her sicknesses. I’ve caught something from her probably four times already this calendar year, including this past weekend when a visit took place. So, due to the fact that I cannot wait to put my head down on a pillow, pull many layers of blankets over me, and shut my eyes, this week’s post will be a short one. My apologizes – or you’re welcome – depending on the reader.
The Lecture: Getting sick while studying abroad can and probably will happen. Think about it. You are most likely trying to do and experience anything and everything. Eventually that can wear your body down, especially if you aren’t getting enough sleep or not wearing the right clothing. This is all common sense but while in a new environment where different and exciting things are happening and you want to – no, have to – be a part of it, common sense can be the first to vacate the premises. So try and keep your wits about you, drink plenty of (non-alcoholic) fluids, and remember that rest is actually important. Adrenaline can only take you so far and for so long before you crash.
A Cultural Snapshot: While in Japan I came across a new sight – people wearing surgical masks. I noticed them first on the train and then just out and about walking around. My first thought was that they were protecting themselves from other peoples’ germs. Then my Japanese friend, Indy, explained that they were the ones sick. They were wearing the masks to keep from infecting others.
What a great idea! I know I could do without shaking the hand of someone whom I just saw cough into the exact same hand. People just don’t think. Again, a lack of common sense and courtesy. I like the mask. It is more of a preventative measure than what I see around me here in the US, which is an (over)use of antibacterial hand gel. The gel is too far down the line of defense and is a more reactionary measure. The germs have most likely done their dirty work.