The Porcine Pathogen remains in force on college campuses across the country (oh, and off campus as well, but who cares about that?)
. Bwog Bacon Bug Expert Mark “Not Marky Mark” Hay has been procrastinating with some ingenious ways of fighting the flu.

Don’t count on your spry, young immune systems to save you – late nights and stress make one more vulnerable, and heaven knows we don’t have the time to sleep around here (fun note: caffeine will not save you either – actually, as a minor diuretic, it could make your life hell). Nor do we have the time or patience to wait for a swine flu vaccination.

But there are many simple, traditional home remedies to ward against and curtail emerging signs of the flu. Pay attention now as this is the culmination of much wisdom – ancient Chinese secrets, Russian folkways, and Native American fix-its, not to mention the persistent digging of one hypochondriac/staff writer.

First are the herbs, spices, and supplements. Your grandmother’s various tricks do all have some varied medical merit: Hot water and honey is a wonderful expectorant – it breaks up the mucus. A nice mustard paste to the chest and back will really clear out the lungs (but it will burn if left on too long). Chamomile wards off a sore throat, garlic, ginger and leeks act as great anti-hypertensives, and even fried lizard’s tail works apparently wonders.

If these solutions sound a little too unpalatable, though, perhaps the Russians have a more agreeable treatment. The traditional Russian regime to prevent against cold? A good helping of Nemiroff Ukrainian Chili Vodka in tea with honey and lemon accompanied with a gargle of milk and sunflower oil. It may not work, but it sure as hell will make you feel a little more alive. Follow this up with a trip to your local banya – a wet-heat sauna. Once at the sauna, proceed to thrash each other with veniki (bundles of birch or oak switches) to increase circulation. You knew any treatment involving copious amounts of vodka would come with a catch.

Then there’s the Scientologists’ approach. According to the clearly reputable gossip site, “Members will first be escorted to a dark room where they will be given Scientology water that consists of mint leaves and steak juice. It is believed that this will be the first step in washing away any hints of the virus. Then, they will be strapped to a wall. Vaik Urstlogie, a man who is believed to be a direct descendant of the infamous alien Xenu, will then say a Scientology prayer. Afterward, the wall the people are strapped to will spin at 60 miles per hour. This will last for two minutes.”

And if all else fails, to take a liberal interpretation of Pascal’s wager, why not try a little sacrifice to Apollo, Eir, or Thoth (who we understand performs in Central Park)? Perhaps even try a witch doctor – the author is of a lightly Cajun flavored ancestry and would be happy to pretend to perform a voodoo ceremony for you. Why not?

Your author personally prefers to knock back several shots of vinegar in the morning and eat a raw clove of garlic with each meal. It is his personal belief that this abuse scares his body so much that it refuses to get sick. That, or the pungent odor he emits thereafter so reduces his proximity to other students that he never comes within the range of a virus. But, with the University quarantining anyone who so much as coughs, why take the risk? Just down a cup of ginger tea, eat a little garlic, and say goodbye to your love life for a few weeks – you were going to have to for midterms anyway. Or better yet, just get the damn vaccination. 

– Photo: fugue/Flickr