Sick sad geeky world: How to avoid con crud (aka nerd flu!) #Pop Culture#fan cons#geek#geeky#nerdy#travel May 1 | Catherine Clark bijouxandbits Sick Sad World Daria iron-on patch by Naomi Hope Designs Related Post A nerd-cation pilgrimage to the homeland of Harry Potter and Doctor Who We made a nerd-cation pilgrimage to the United Kingdom to visit the homeland of two of our favorite stories: Harry Potter and Doctor Who. We... Read more As I start my work week post-pop culture convention (this time around C2E2 in Chicago, and hopefully next at Wizard World Chicago!), I reminisce about meeting Evanna Lynch, touching base with some of my faves in Artist Alley, meeting up with a friend dressed as Negan (bat with torn scalp included), and start to feel that familiar throat tingle of an impending cold. Yep, it's "con crud." Con crud is that very not elusive phenomenon wherein we all get a big ol' cold after being around that many thousands of people. For someone like me who works from home and has very limited interaction with children, it's the inevitable result of my inadequate immune system meeting the world at large. If you're heading into convention season or potentially have to attend conferences for work or hobbies, this is already old hat to you. But let's review some ways to avoid the convention plague known as con crud. Prepare in advance There's little actual scientific proof that zinc and other cold prevention vitamins really work, but it doesn't hurt much to give them a go just in case. I use zinc tablets or lozenges in the couple of days leading up to the convention in the hopes that it'll help boost the old immune system as much as possible. Don't go too wild with zinc for long periods of time, though, as they can really irritate tummies. Keep taking them for a couple of days (or as long as the box recommends) after the con. "5 Second Rule" shirt by Trending Shirts Sleep and eat right Immune systems are worse when you're low on sleep and noshing on junk, both of which are super common at conventions. Late night convention parties and panels are awesome, but make sure you're getting enough sleep to get you through multiple days of heavy walking. Pack some healthier granola bars, dried fruit, nuts, and other health-friendly snacks to avoid having to eat overpriced and under-vitamined pizza at the con. Oh, and drink water, so much water! Even more water than that. Watch the booze intake If you're partaking in some barking-dogs-foot-remedy of a little booze, take it in moderation so you're not getting the double whammy of hangover + immune system barrage. And again, keep drinking that water. The obvious: wash those hands Before, during, after, and in between, wash your hands and keep some antibacterial gel handy. I know, they're getting the side eye from the experts, but we'll see what happens there later. Stick with soap and water, wash for at least 20 seconds, and avoid touching too much in the bathroom while you're at it. Got arrested for throwing a karate kid-shaped cookie at Ralph Macchio at #wizardworldchicago — just kidding but I did see both the cookie and the actor! 🍪🍪 #ravenclaw A post shared by Catherine (@bijouxandbits) on Aug 20, 2016 at 5:15pm PDT At Wizard World Chicago, not getting touchy-feely with anyone! Keep your personal barrier up Granted, this one is hard for the actual convention booth folks who may end up shaking a whole lot of hands, but if you're just an attendee, feel free to gently dodge handshakes, hugs, and contact in general. Keep up a space barrier around booth tables, too, where hands are constantly touching business cards, prints, and merchandise. Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze Carry some tissues in an accessible pocket in case you need to cough or sneeze, or at least cough into your upper arm to keep germs from being all over your hands. if you're sick already, try to avoid touching too much stuff around the convention as a courtesy to those other thousands of fellow attendees hoping to avoid the nerd flu. Cosplay your way to health! Wear your coolest face-covered rogue outfit, your best Donnie Dark rabbit mask, and your kick-ass leather gloves to prevent those evil germs from getting near you. And if you do end up getting sick, it's all worth it anyway. Happy convention-ing! "Scourgifying" those germs: What a damn cutie @msevylynch is. We swapped wands and talked about how we suspect nargles are behind it. ⚡️🔮 A post shared by Catherine (@bijouxandbits) on Apr 22, 2017 at 11:16am PDT Con survival guide: What to expect at your first pop culture convention Oh hey, I don't just spend my time at ren faires, I also spend them geeking out at pop culture conventions. Because of course I do. If you've never been… Read More Join our community! Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo Catherine Clark Catherine Clark is Offbeat Bride's Senior Editor. In her spare time she loiters at her local library, makes art, watches movies en masse, plays video and tabletop games, poorly cooks healthy things, cuddles with her feline fur baby, and blogs at BijouxandBits.com. @enidjcoleslaw @bijouxandbits @bijouxandbits PREVIOUS Asian beef: A quick dinner recipe for a picky family NEXT Kids and cultural appropriation v. cultural appreciation: Where's the line? Show/Hide comments [ 5 ] The fist bump or elbow bump is a great way to interact with people and minimize germ exchange. After the PAX Pox that swept through PAX Prime a few years ago in Seattle, this has become the preferred method over handshaking. I think you need to be extra careful when travelling for cons, since you're in a new ecosystem of contagions. 4 agree Reply *fist bump* for this tip! Reply I work in a university and after all the students arrive back in September there's definitely an increase in "Freshers Flu" so these tips are useful in this environment too. I tend to up my Vitamin C intake in the Autumn for this reason! One thing to point out that Anti-Bac gel are designed against bacterial things, but not necessarily colds, which are viral. I think you can buy Anti-Viral hand gels, but I don't know how effective they are. 3 agree Reply Warning: If you have false teeth and use a denture adhesive, skip the zinc. That stuff already loads zinc into your system and adding to it has been known to overdose people, the chief symptom being senility-like symptoms (but differing from Alzheimer's in that the symptoms go away when zinc levels normalize.) And by the way, snuggles boost the immune system. If you must do it with gloves and a mask, that's okay. 1 agrees Reply OMG, where did you get that Ravenclaw cardigan? I have a Gryffindor one but I'm actually a Ravenclaw and would love to be able to represent my own house for a change! Reply Join the conversation Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Participate in this conversation via emailGet only replies to your comment, the best of the rest, as well as a daily recap of all comments on this post. No more than a few emails daily, which you can reply to/unsubscribe from directly from your inbox. No-drama comment policy Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy.