Protect your time; stay home when you feel sick

AB Boyd | Cartoonist

Even for those without clinical mental health diagnoses, this year has been full of stomach-churning anxiety.

Each morning brings the latest coronavirus death tolls, the newest developments out of D.C. and updates from the deadly wildfires on the West Coast. On top of all of that, waking up with a headache or a tickle in your throat is not what it used to be.

Baylor has made it easy for students to get tested on campus, making it easy for those with COVID-19 to find out quickly and stay home until their symptoms subside.

Baylor has asked students not to go to class when sick, even if they’ve been cleared for COVID-19, and they have good reasoning as to why. It’s hard enough to have the threat of one virus spreading around campus, but to be dealing with students getting the routine fall-time flu or strep on top of that makes the collective immune system of the Baylor community weaker.

Even when you test negative for COVID-19, it’s hard to untrain yourself from the years of going to school and work even when you don’t feel well. Before the pandemic, when college students were a little ill, attendance policies and participation accounting for a part of our grade made us get up and go to class anyway. Now, when college students get a negative coronavirus test result, it has become common for them to go to class like usual. Doing so is negative on two accounts: you could be making those around you ill, and it is not good for your individual health for you to attend class when feeling under the weather.

When you feel unwell, your body is trying to tell you that something is wrong. Your body’s greatest requirement for fighting off unwanted intruders is plenty of rest and a well-balanced diet. College life is not always conducive to those needs, so it’s important that you are protecting the time you need to take care of yourself.

You have to make time to make actual meals that will give your body the macronutrients it needs. Make sure you’re spending enough time taking care of your body. Check in with your mental health, self-evaluate when you’re feeling down and make sure you’re not working yourself to your breaking point. Most importantly, stay home when you feel unwell, and call your doctor when things go a while without getting better.

The only way we’re going to get through this year and this pandemic is by taking care of ourselves and each other, and that starts with making sure we’re well.

Your body is trained to tell you when it’s time to take a rest. It’s time you start listening.