Cold and flu season is coming! Singers are unique in that we have an instrument that can be working perfectly fine one day, then we go to sleep, and wake up the next day with a completely dysfunctional instrument. It's the thing singing performers dread, and sometimes there isn't much you can do about it - people get sick.
There is a lot of information out there about things you can do to shorten the duration of a cold, but the best thing is obviously to avoid getting sick in the first place.
If you do get a cold, it's important to evaluate your voice to see if there is swelling of your vocal cords. Your voice may sound breathy or scratchy. If this is the case, you should rest your voice as much as possible and hydrate with water and steam. Trying to push through swollen cords will only make it worse. And if it hurts, don't sing! Pain is a sign that you should stop.
Overall, wash your hands frequently, avoid touching your face, get enough rest and water, and when you do get sick, stay home so you can get better and avoid spreading germs to others.