Christmas Week is finally here, and that means it’s time to go to those last company holiday parties, get back to your family, and enjoy a well-earned yuletide break. Nothing can ruin this joyous time faster than coming down with something that makes you violently eject breakfast, lunch and/or dinner from the end that may not be your first choice. Since the Gods of Christmas (Santa?) placed the holiday right in the middle of cold and flu season, you need to take matters into your own hands to avoid getting sick. Follow the tips below to make it through the holidays in good health:
1. Drink Heavily
Everybody knows that, in addition to feelings, alcohol also kills germs. Unfortunately, most liquor is only 30-50 percent alcohol – that leaves another 70 percent that’s not doing anything but reminding you what regret tastes like. How are you supposed to hold off the 2015 Special Edition Flu with odds like that?
Easy! Just drink twice as much. If you don’t want to drink pure ethanol, you can still hit that magical 100% ratio by drinking twice as much 100-proof. 50% plus 50% is 100% – that’s math, motherfucker. Your cold, flu, or norovirus won’t know what hit it. Just be careful about your new, sudden drunken desire to hit other things when your family’s Christmas dinner rolls around.
2. Touch Everything in the Bathroom
Another great way to keep viruses at bay is to build up an immunity. In an ideal world, you’ve been doing this for months – exposing yourself to weak strains of all the major cold and flu viruses. But hey, it’s like the old saying goes: “Life is what happens while you’re making other plans to expose yourself to weak strains of all the major cold and flu viruses.”
Like cramming all night for an exam you could have spent the whole semester studying for, you may need to build up a year’s worth of immunity in mere days. Before heading home for the holidays, go to every public bathroom you can and touch everything that might have a virus on it: door handles, toilet seats, soap dispensers, tampon machines, urinal rims. Put your fingers in your mouth, nose, ears and any other orifice you like. Remember, eyes aren’t just the window to the soul, they’re also the unlocked screen doors to your immune system.
3. Dress Like It’s Summer
Our minds can have a surprisingly powerful effect on our bodies. If the “placebo effect” can convince your body that a sugar pill is fighting a real malady, then it can also convince your body that cold and flu season isn’t even here yet – and how can you get the flu if your body still thinks it’s the middle of summer?
Dress like it’s the dog days of August instead of the reindeer days of December. Shorts, tank tops, sundresses, sandals – sun’s out for roughly four hours a day, guns out for roughly four hours a day. So what if it’s 5°F and snowing? Your body won’t be able to feel the difference! (Literally. After a few minutes outside it will be impossible to feel anything.)
4. Avoid Sleeping
We all dread this moment during the holidays: you prepare for a big day of travel or a big family event, you get yourself in bed for a good night’s sleep… only to wake up feeling like death warmed over, put out on the table, licked by the dog, put back in the fridge, then warmed over again.
You can avoid this terrible awakening by just never going to sleep. Viruses, like thoughts of your ex and dreams about showing up to work naked, sneak in while you’re sleeping. And really, if you’re getting sick, when are you going to be better at fighting it off – when you’re asleep, with your guard down and drool on your pillow? Or when you’re awake, and you can face the flu with fists raised and say, “hey, flu, you thought you could sneak up on me, but you have to get up pretty early in the morning to do that, and I mean really early, because I’ve been watching Netflix since yesterday afternoon and haven’t slept at all, and the line between reality and House of Cards is starting to blur COME AT ME BRO?”
5. Make Out With Everybody
This kind of goes back to the immunity thing, but in a more socially-conscious kind of way. The only way to protect society from the cold and flu is for everyone to build up immunities, and that means swapping saliva with as many people as possible. It’s not a drunken mistake under the mistletoe, it’s a public service. That person with the slightly-askew sweater who has has two too many sips of eggnog and been making eyes at you all night isn’t thinking about their health. They need you to look out for them.
Listen, you’re going to end up making out with somebody during the holidays, whether it’s a loved one, a hometown ex, or the only other person in the bar on Christmas Eve. Just give yourself permission to do it, communicable diseases be damned, because what good is being healthy without a little action to go along with it? Besides, if you do get sick, at least you’ll be making somebody else miserable with you. And that’s what the holidays are all about.