Here's How To Survive Cold Season When You're Surrounded By Coughers


Having recently moved back up to Manchester from the deep southern climate of Bristol I’ve had to engage once again in the annual battle with northern bugs and bacteria. What I’ve found during my years based in the North is that a batch of Manchester flu is pretty much unavoidable. 

As we’ve been entering the winter months I've felt the flu nearly take hold a few times but although many of my companions and colleagues have fallen subject to the torment, I’ve managed to keep myself afloat. Here’s how...

1. Tool up

First and foremost, arm yourself. This is going to get ugly; your housemates, colleagues or fellow students are dropping like flies - you’ve even started to wonder where some of the familiar faces on the tram are...

So when it does you need to lock and load. Wage war against these bugs, back your immune system with a good selection of lemsip, bootleg berocca, paracetamol and Ibuprofen. 

Make cocktails: if you're on the budget lemsip it can taste exactly like poorly flavoured paracetamol and phenylephrine if you’re not careful, so treat it with love, drop a Berocca in and observe as the effervescent explodes in the boiling solution as your fluey foes meet their worst nightmare. 

Arm yourself with satsumas, clementines, grapefruits...but whatever citrus saviour you choose make sure you purchase enough that you can be plopping one of these health balls down your throat every half hour when the flu hits. Forget segments, down the hatch in one.

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2. Green tea's your right hand man

Don’t mess about here. Keep yourself at optimal hydration and start guzzling the green tea every day. Charged with precious antioxidants and vitamins it’s widely considered one of the planet’s leading beverages when it comes to immune system maintenance. Treat the healthiest drink on earth with the respect it deserves and it will carry you back to full-health, sanity and enlightenment. 

Go hard, pints of the stuff throughout the day, one caffeinated tea bag when you need that necessary lift but otherwise stick to the decaf bags, all the health without bugging out after too much caffeine. The future’s green.

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3. Hit the schvitz

This flu season the health suite has become my Gumar. You can catch me in the steam room most evenings flushing out the toxins and heating up the body on a daily basis to make it inhabitable for any invading bugs. It’s my polite rejection. My ‘not tonight lads, try elsewhere.’ 

If you are beginning to see the early signs of the flu taking effect, a schvitz can be a fantastic remedy and relief and you will leave the building feeling purer than you’ve ever felt before. This may go without saying but keep it hygienic, obviously don’t try and go if you are already descending into a fully fledged batch of flu.


4. Get yourself ahead of work

The flu’s taken hold. Weird dreams, your imagination's off on some of the most worrying tangents you’ve ever experienced in your life. Your mind is completely dribbling away and so are you. Sweating profusely, suddenly you’re too hot, all of a sudden you’re too cold, your room has become some sort of goblin hovel. 

Do you open the window? You probably need to breathe some fresh air right? But what if that air also means more bugs? Better shut it, better to just suffer on. We’ve all been there. There’s nothing worse than snivelling away in your cesspit of a bed, physically paralyzed, mentally incapacitated and knowing you’ve got to hit that deadline before twelve o’clock later that night. Don’t do it to yourself. 

As soon as you see your peers dropping off go ham on the barbeque, put in that work, make your boss worship you by meeting an early deadline for once. Then, when you do get ill you can take time off completely guilt-free and actually kick back and relax into this year’s flu encounter. Inevitably, it will all get left last minute though, it always does, but you can’t say I didn’t warn you.   

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5. Pretend it’s Christmas

Try and see the cute side of the flu. Weirdly nothing’s better than being just a little bit ill around Christmas, the fires licking out flames, the Bake Off Christmas special is in full flow and you’re feeding your dog chocolates on the sly...

It’s a beautiful scene, it could only be mildly tarnished by a running nose, but you’ve got a packet of tissues in your dressing gown pocket and you literally couldn’t be happier that they’re there. You keep doing this weird shivery hug to yourself and telling everyone how cosy you are. This is a classic case of getting the balance right between the sweet and the sour, try and apply this scenario to the Manchester flu season. Positivity is key. 

So load up on Christmas specials, walk around humming jingle bells and hang some tinsel about the house. It’s all about altering your perspective on things. You’ll be feeling so jovial that you start to see the beautiful cuteness of your impending sniffles.

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Written by Lovin Guest Writer Charlie Fyfe-Williams @charliefyfewill 

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Loves eating cake and baking (skilled at the former, not so great at the latter.) Discovering the vibrant city that is Manchester one burrito at a time.Email: