If you’ve been to any amount of conventions, you know all about con crud. The last day or so of con, you get a little sneezy. Then, before you know it, you’ve got a full-blown cold on your hands – if you’re lucky.
I drove home from Celebration III with bronchitis. Five hours in the car. With only bronchitis for company. NOT RECOMMENDED. Luckily, the precautions are fairly simple and nothing but basic common sense. Well, mostly.
→ Don’t neglect sleep. As fun as it is to stay up all night chatting (oh, do Jaders know) it’s important to get a good night’s sleep. It helps your immune system and makes you pretty!
→ Eat well and stay hydrated. Don’t skip too many meals. Yes, you’ll probably end up eating not-so-great food in the convention center and/or granola bars at least once a day. (Yes, you can bring in food.)
→ Seriously, stay hydrated. There’s no lack of bathrooms in modern convention centers. Drink lots of water.
→ Wash your hands well and a lot. Use hand sanitizer when you’re on the go, and after handling items like elevator buttons and menus.
→ Be prudent with physical contact. Hugs and handshakes spread germs! GERMS! Let’s practice the art of the brofist this year.
→ Vitamins! Some recommend Vitamin C, some an Airborne regimen, author Jennifer Brozek swears by Sambucus and for the Canadians, Michelle Heumann recs ColdFX. I don’t know what works, effectiveness probably varies from person to person and nothing is foolproof, but it’s worth a try.
→ Want to scare your roommate a little? Pack antibacterial wipes and wipe down all the door handles and other hard surfaces in your room. Hey, it’s a bit much, but better safe than sorry! (You might also want to avoid the glasses in the room, and touch the bedspread as little as possible. Yes, maybe I have watched too much CSI…)
And if you do get con crud… Well, I’ll let Paula take this one: “As a public health professional, I BEG people that if they do become sick to STAY IN THEIR HOTEL! Don’t take out the rest of us!”
On that note, if you can swing it, try and have a buffer day off between your travel day and going back to work so you can sleep in and just generally wind down. Cons may technically be ‘vacation,’ but they can be pretty exhausting.
Oh, and be careful with your meds. Last time I got the crud I accidentally took two Claritins within an hour of each other and ended up so zoned out that all I did was stare at the back of the seat the entire plane ride home. (It’s a good thing I wasn’t driving that time!) NOT RECOMMENDED.