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5 Cheap(ish) Things to Help You Get Through Flu Season

By February 5, 2018 January 30th, 2020 Uncategorized

It’s not just you: Yes, everyone you know really is sick.

This year’s flu season is the worst in nearly a decade — the most intense since 2009’s swine flu pandemic — and it’s only going to get worse. (If you’re curious why it’s so bad this year, read this.)

There are a few things you can do to protect yourself from the flu, like washing your hands frequently and disinfecting shared spaces, but sometimes you will catch it despite your best efforts.

If you’re among the unlucky millions who will get the flu this year, this is the most important advice: If you’re able to stay home, please stay home. Going into work while you’re sick doesn’t prove anything, and you’re putting your co-workers at risk. Really — just stay home.

Phew, glad we got that out of the way. Now for the goods: In collaboration with Wirecutter, a New York Times company that reviews and recommends products, here are five cheap(ish) things to help you get through flu season.

Facial Tissues

My multiple winter illnesses come year after year like clockwork, and year after year I rub my nose raw by blowing it with paper towels or low-quality tissues. You’d think I’d learn by now, but alas.

Don’t make my mistakes; instead, buy these Puffs Facial Tissues, which is Wirecutter’s top pick for their strength and softness.

Neti Pot

This product is my savior every winter. The moment I start feeling my sinuses acting up, I load up my NeilMed Sinus Rinse and get to irrigating. Two rinses a day have me breathing (slightly) better and feeling a whole lot less clogged up.

Wirecutter’s top pick for a neti pot is the Aromatic Salt Premium Ceramic Neti Pot.


A good thermometer is an essential tool for every medicine cabinet, and Wirecutter has two options that should work for most people: The Vicks Comfort Flex Digital is its pick for an oral/rectal/axillary thermometer, and if you’re looking for an ear or forehead thermometer, go with the iProven DMT-489.


With winter comes dry air, leaving us all with dry sinuses, dry skin, nosebleeds and more. A portable humidifier is a quick and easy way to alleviate some of that.

Wirecutter’s favorite is the Honeywell HCM-350 Germ Free Cool Mist Humidifier. (Bonus: Its reservoir is dishwasher-safe.)

Tea Steeper

Here are two revelations I’ve had in the past six months: I thought I was “meh” on cats but it turns out I love them and am totally obsessed, and the same goes for tea. I was never a tea person! But it’s a fun, tasty drink and everyone should be drinking more. (If you’re a reader in New York City, head to Dual Specialty Store on First Avenue to pick up some …interesting flavors.)

The Finum Brewing Basket is Wirecutter’s top pick for tea steeper.


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