Ever wonder how you could keep yourself coughing, sneezing and sniffling all year long? Sure, anyone can tell you how to stay healthy, but how many advice columnists can tell you how to get so sick that you’ll be home for a week or more? Exactly. So read on.


Work in a hospital. Where better to catch the latest disease than in your very own local hospital or urgent care clinic? As sterile as hospitals may be, there are always nasty germs floating around. So if you work in one, you’re bound to get sick sooner or later. What if you don’t work in a hospital? Try visiting sick patients there — and visit often, or just hang out in the waiting rooms. Which brings me to my next point …


Put your hands on anything and everything in the doctor’s office waiting room, especially your pediatrician’s office, which, according to WebMD, is a hotbed for germs, with sick patients touching toys and magazines, and leaving their germs all over them. If you’re very lucky, you may catch something positively frightening.


Work in a preschool. Kids in preschool get sick on a regular basis. So much so that many preschool teachers will tell you to send in your kids even if they have a runny nose, because if you don’t, they may end up missing half the year. But this’ll work for only the first year or two that you work in a preschool. After that, your body may build up a resistance to all those germs and you won’t get sick as often as you’d like. Moving on then ...


Never wash your hands. Ever. After blowing your nose, using the bathroom, changing your kid’s dirty diaper — you name it. Keep your hands as dirty as possible. Then, every few minutes, lick your hands or even better, pick your nose. (Sorry, but we take our advice role seriously. You want to get sick, don't you?)


Shake the hand of everyone you meet. Your next-door neighbor who stops by for a chat, your mailperson, even the cashier at the supermarket. (That’s a great one. Think of all the money he's been handling from all the myriads of people who shop at the supermarket. You’re bound to pick up enough to keep you home for at least a week, if not more.)


Also, in public bathrooms, make sure to touch the faucet, the door handle, and the floor. Finally, be sure to surround yourself with sick people all winter long. Neighbor got the flu? Invite her over for a “Harry Potter” marathon. Co-worker got a cold? Make sure to use his pens, mug and computer. Germs can survive on inanimate objects for a few hours, so take advantage of that extended window when you can.


What’s the moral of the story, folks? To stay sick for the better part of the cold and flu season, use this mantra — “touch everything, and wash nothing.” Remember, the more viruses you get, the more immunity you build up. By the end of this season, you’ll be a rock-solid wall of resistance!


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