Laid up for days on end, sneezing and sore, sleeping ‘round the clock, and missing work —cold and flu season is no joke. While the increased mask-wearing and social distancing we’ve all become accustomed to appears to reduce the number of flu cases, sometimes you still just get sick. Thankfully, Walgreens has the supplies you need to not only stay healthy and happy but also to get well soon should you come down with something.
Plus, it now has the myWalgreens™ Credit Card, which offers 10 percent Walgreens Cash rewards on Walgreens branded products and 5 percent on almost everything else storewide (even at the pharmacy, although exclusions apply).* And if approved for a myWalgreens™ Mastercard®, you’ll receive 3 percent back at grocery stores as well as 1 percent at any retailer that accepts Mastercard.** That should keep your wallet healthy and happy, too.
Get a flu shot, if you haven’t already
According to the CDC, the single most important thing you can do to avoid getting the flu this season is to get a flu shot. Not only does it lower your chances of getting the virus in the first place, but if you do get sick, the shot makes it less likely you’ll get seriously ill. You can easily schedule a free flu shot† for anyone ages 3+ at Walgreens.
Wash your hands
Your mother was right: Don’t touch! But if you must, wash your hands — properly. While we all became handwashing pros when the pandemic first hit, here’s a quick refresher from the CDC: Wet your hands with clean water that’s warm, hot, or even cold. Get them nice and sudsy with soap, making sure you get the backs of your hands, between fingers, and underneath fingernails. This should take about 20 seconds or the time it takes to sing yourself “Happy Birthday” twice. Finally, rinse and dry with a clean towel.
Sneeze into your elbow
Now that we know germs spread easily from nose to hand, sneezing just about anywhere but your hand (with the exception of everywhere) seems like a solid idea. AIP published a 2020 study on the physics of fluids, which found the most effective way to stop germs from spreading through droplets is to sneeze into the crook of your elbow. Bonus: It’s nowhere near as gross as sneezing into your hand!
Use tissues, properly
Proper tissue usage — that is using a tissue once and throwing it away immediately — may seem like common sense, but life often gets in the way of remembering to do small things. This is one of those things. But because nose to hand is one of the most common ways to spread cold and flu germs, tissues can keep germs where they belong: off hands and in the garbage. Stock up with an eight-pack of Nice! Facial Tissues.
Clean and disinfect surfaces
Regularly clean and disinfect high-traffic areas (think light switches, door handles, and remote controls), as viruses can live on surfaces for up to 48 hours. If you use a disinfectant spray like Lysol, make sure you’re following the instructions to ensure the product is effectively killing germs. According to Lysol, you want to hold the spray 6 to 8 inches away from an object, spray for three to four seconds, and then let air-dry for at least three minutes before touching.
Earn up to 10% Walgreens Cash rewards* (exclusions apply)
Drink plenty of tea
Besides just being a warm and cozy way to while away winter, drinking tea is a home remedy with serious benefits. Its antioxidants support your overall immune system, and if you do get a cold or the flu, sipping warm tea (and inhaling the steam) can help ease congestion. Plus, if you add honey, you’ll have a natural cough suppressant. Of course, not all teas are equal: Peppermint has antiviral properties, chamomile is anti-inflammatory, elderberry has been shown to reduce the length of a cold, and green tea may help prevent getting sick in the first place.
Proper rest cures all sorts of ills — it can even prevent them. One study found people who sleep six hours or less each night were four times more likely to get a cold. Your immune system kicks into high gear when you’re sleeping by creating cytokines, a protein that helps fight infections. And if you do get sick, the energy you normally spend moving, talking, and thinking is entirely directed toward fighting off sickness instead. This is why binge-watching in bed is the perfect sick-day activity.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
Fluids are your best friend, whether you feel sick or perfectly fine. According to the American Heart Association, drinking fluids helps your body circulate blood, which may enable white blood cells to help fight off viruses faster. Additionally, water adds oxygen to your blood, speeding up your recovery time further. While there’s no one-size-fits-all formula for how much water to drink, the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine recommends 91 ounces per day for women and 125 ounces for men. A simple way to know you aren’t drinking enough? You’re thirsty.
Stock up on cold medicine
Taking cold medicine may not shorten a cold, but you can certainly help alleviate annoying symptoms with decongestants, antihistamines, and pain relievers. Put that myWalgreens Credit Card to use again and pick up Walgreens Daytime & Nighttime Cold & Flu Relief (maybe even some vitamin C) for 10 percent Walgreens Cash rewards*. If you order online, your items will be ready for pick up in a little as 30 minutes, or you can get free same-day delivery on orders $50+.***
Stay home if you’re sick
If there is any chance you have a cold, the flu, or another contagious ailment, stay home and binge-watch a new show (if you’re a myWalgreens Mastercard cardholder and you use it to pay for your cable or streaming services, you’ll earn 1 percent Walgreens Cash rewards). Rest is often much easier said than done considering work and childcare responsibilities, but it’s in everyone’s best interest — yours included. The CDC recommends giving yourself 24 full hours since you last experienced symptoms.
Use the myWalgreens Credit Card or the myWalgreens Mastercard — the credit card that pays well to stay well — to earn Walgreens Cash rewards when you shop. These can be used toward future Walgreens purchases. Apply here.
*Must be a myWalgreens™ member. Walgreens Cash rewards are not legal tender. No cash back. Walgreens Cash rewards good on future purchases. Exclusions apply. Reward on prescriptions and other pharmacy items and services cannot be earned in AR, NJ, or NY. Only prescriptions picked up in store are eligible to earn rewards. Complete details, including Walgreens Cash rewards expiration dates, at myWalgreens™ Terms and Conditions. Purchases with a myWalgreens credit card are subject to credit approval. See credit card reward program terms for program details.
**If approved for a myWalgreens™ Mastercard®, it can be used at any Walgreens, Duane Reade store owned by Walgreen, Walgreens.com and anywhere else Mastercard is accepted and will earn Walgreens Cash rewards on all eligible purchases.
The myWalgreens™ Mastercard® is issued by Synchrony Bank pursuant to a license by Mastercard International.
†No cost to you with most insurance. Vaccines subject to availability. State-, age- and health-related restrictions may apply.
***Offer valid 9/1/2021-8/31/2022. Available only on qualifying same-day delivery orders on Walgreens.com. Exclusions and restrictions apply. See walgreens.com/offerdetails for complete details.
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