Keep Those Germs to Yourself!
By Donna Kostiew
It would be nice if this flu and cold season could finally be declared over, but unfortunately, it is still rearing its ugly head across the country. It seems this year has been especially difficult, with more people than doctors, schools, and workplaces can possibly count who have been fighting some form of sickness. Everyone knows to stay home when really sick, but the reality is that you can’t always stay bunkered down for every little cold. So you head out from your sanctuary … your warm bed at home … and surround yourself with others. Do everyone a favor though, and keep those germs to yourself.
Sick Etiquette Tips
Of course, the ideal situation is to stay at home when sick, but if it is not physically possible for you to do that, then take the following considerations into account to keep others around you safe.
- Keep your hands to yourself – If a friend or coworker tries to greet you with a hug or a handshake, run away! No … don’t do that, but do kindly warn them that you are recovering from being sick or fighting a cold and that you would prefer to keep your germs to yourself. They will appreciate your concern more than they would miss that personal contact.
- Stock up - Keep your workspace or personal bag well-stocked to help you feel better and to keep the area around you germ-free. This should include tissues (and a disposable bag to throw them away in), disinfecting wipes or spray, hand sanitizer, and whatever medications you need to help with your symptoms (cough and throat drops, pain relievers, vitamins).
- Sanitize shared surfaces – This can be difficult and may feel like you are going a little overboard, but clean up after yourself as if you are cleaning up a crime. Cold viruses can survive for several hours on hard surfaces, which can place your friends and coworkers in a susceptible situation. If you can’t keep your hands in your pockets all day, save everyone around you and wipe or spray down the shared areas that you may have exposed your germs to (the conference or lunch table, the copy machine, or a shared phone).
- Cover your mouth – Coughs and sneezes are the perfect way for germs to get around and infect those around you. When you have to cough or sneeze, cover your mouth with a tissue or do so into your arm or elbow. Try to avoid using your hand to cover your mouth and if you accidentally do use your hand, wash it right away or grab that hand sanitizer you have in your arsenal of weapons at your desk.
We are all bound to get sick and unfortunately, it’s not always possible to stay home when we come down with a cold. However, maintaining good etiquette while feeling under the weather can help keep germs from spreading to those we are close to.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Sunset Hills, Mo.